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. Currently booking are  Arlington Fleet Services, Eastleigh Works and the Hythe Pier Tramway on 9th July. The West Coast Railway, Carnforth on 23rd July is fully booked, unless there is a cancellation. For more information on any of these see visits. All these 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.



18th February 2022   The secondhand stock of the Eshop has been further refreshed, and new items will be added in the next few days. There are several rare and interesting titles.  Also we have had to raise the postage rates generally. On the plus side we will be using tracked services for overseas, which for distant countries will be air freight or air mail.  UK visits can now be booked through the Eshop.



Some recent publications …

18EL Hardbound Kerr Stuart Water Tube Boiler Geared Drive Steam Locomotives Sentinel_cover
Northumberland Coalfield