The Industrial Railway Society was founded in 1949 as the Birmingham Locomotive Club - Industrial Locomotive Information Section. The Society is the leading organization in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of all aspects of privately owned industrial railways and locomotives, both at home and overseas, and we also cover heritage and privately preserved railways. Our flagship publication is the invaluable guide book (Existing Locomotives – EL Series) listing every current industrial and preserved locomotive in the whole British Isles, and for which we provide regular updates. We also publish a range of illustrated historical handbooks, covering all known industrial locomotives, area by area in the UK, plus some other countries, and builder’s histories, company histories, etc.

IRS publications are usually offered to members at a substantial discount on the normal purchase price. Members receive bi-monthly UK/Irish News BulIetins, Quarterly Overseas News Bulletins and a quarterly Magazine, the Industrial Railway Record (back copies of which are available on this site). We also organise visits to private and heritage railways, usually with access to areas not normally open to the general public. If you are interested in joining please see the Membership tabs for details for the types available.

We hope you will find this site easy to use, with all of the main categories listed on the menu bar at the top. Many of these have sub categories with hundreds of titles, both from us and other publishers. We also stock a range of used books.

The 2020 AGM. Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus risk our AGM this year, planned for 25th April, has been postponed. If circumstances permit it is hoped to hold it later in the year. If you have bought tickets they will be valid for the rescheduled event, but if you would prefer to have a refund instead please email

29th May 2020 

New orders - The e-shop remains open for orders.  Orders will be sent in batches to minimise unnecessary close contact in queues, so there will be delays.  Please be aware overseas orders are likely to be disrupted.  Sentinel copies are now available.

Existing orders - Anyone who has placed an order and not received their books, and who has not supplied a phone number, please supply one to for the courier to use. If a mobile number is used, a text message should be received giving a delivery window.



Some recent publications …