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 -  for more information see visits. Most visits are open to non-members, but where numbers are limited members get priority and often pay a lower rate. If you are interested in joining please see the Membership tabs for details for the types available.

If you are a member please remember to log in to your account before ordering books with discounted prices, otherwise you will be charged the full public price.

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.




4th February 2024   The Society is pleased to announce that Planet Locomotives is now available for purchase.  The secondhand stock will be refreshed in the next few weeks.



Some recent publications …

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.... and we also have some




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