EXISTING MEMBERS To renew membership please click here.

The Railway and Canal Historical Society is the leading transport history society in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1954 to encourage the study of railway and canal history, the Society now embraces wider aspects of transport history. This recognises that a serious study of canal and railway history is often inseparable from a study of other forms of transport, such as river navigations, roads, docks, pipelines, shipping, ferries and aircraft.
Members receive a journal, three times a year, and a regular bulletin. Meetings, conferences and visits are arranged throughout the year. Local Groups in the regions also hold regular, usually monthly, meetings and visits and are open to all members wherever they live. The Special Interest Groups are also open to all and include Early Railways, Railway History Research, Road Transport, Waterway History Research (includes docks and shipping), Air Transport, Pipelines & Materials Handling, Railway Chronology and Modern Transport. Members keep in touch with each other by newsletters and occasional papers.
The Society also publishes book reviews, in the journal, and an important Annual Bibliography. We have an extensive Research Index, a large collection of photographs and can assist research financially from the Research Fund. Publishing books on all aspects of our interests is important and we make an annual Transport History Book of the Year Award.
Our web site lists forthcoming events, activities of the Local and Special Interest Groups, all our available publications, offers help with research and much more.
Despite having a ‘serious’ subject we are a friendly and sociable society and members are always willing to help one another with advice and the sharing of information.
Membership is open to all … now is the time to join us.


Subscriptions run from January 1 and are normally for a year. Members pay a full subscription when they initially join the Society. Members joining after July 1 in any year pay a full subscription which lasts to the end of the following year. A generous offer!

This year, subscriptions are: Individual – £20 : Double – £25 :  Student – £7  (Evidence of full-time study should accompany renewal): NRM/IRS Students – Free. Members receive three Journals, the Annual Bibliography and six copies of the Society’s Bulletin as well as access to the members facilities of the website.

To join the Society please enter your contact details and some information about yourself. Submitting this information will send it to the Membership Secretary. Once your payment has been received (quickly by PayPal or BACS; a few days for cheques by post)  you will be sent a welcome pack containing the latest Journal and Bulletin, together with more information about the Society.

The subscription you pay now will last through until December 2018 and you will receive Journals and Bulletins published until then.

PhD students that the NRM is supervising and students on the IRS Post-Graduate Diploma Course are offered free membership of the Society while they are students. Please apply for membership by filling in the form below and submitting it. Since membership is free for these students, there is no no need to visit the shop.

Fields marked with an * are required

You can fill in the form below to register or alternatively, you can register offline by downloading a membership form here and posting it to the Membership Secretary.

Tick this box if you do not want your contact details or interests published in the Bulletin

Choose the membership category you want

  • Individual - £20 per year
  • Joint (Two members receiving one copy of the Journal and Bulletin) - £25 per year
  • Full Time Student (Provide evidence of status) - £7 per year
  • NRM PhD/IRS Students (Free)

Gift Aid costs you nothing as a UK taxpayer but is worth an extra 25% to the society. If you wish to give the Society the benefit of this scheme, then please visit the Gift Aid page. Note that the the Society assumes that the declaration covers past, present and future donations and assumes that you pay the same amount or more of UK Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax. You can cancel your declaration at any time by informing the Membership Secretary.

You can subscribe for your membership in any of the following ways:

  1. Pay your subscription and donations at the Society’s on-line shop. Go there if you want to pay by Debit or Credit card or by PayPal. While you are there, you can browse the publications and other items.

  2. You can pay by Internet Banking using your Bank’s website.
    Please remit to a/c 00017059 at 40-52-40. (CAF Bank Ltd, 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4JQ). Please use your surname and postcode as the reference.

  3. If you wish to pay by cheque, make it payable to ‘The Railway & Canal Historical Society’ and send it to the R&CHS Membership Secretary, Dove Cottage, Thorpe, Ashbourne, DE6 2AW, writing your name and postcode on the back.

  4. You can set up a direct debit by filling in the instructions on the renewal form. Download a copy here, fill it in and post it to the Membership Secretary or scan the completed form and email it to the Membership Secretary