The Railway Magazine


A GARDEN shed in Cheltenham may not, at first sight, appear to have any relevance to railway enthusiasm, but it was in one such shed in 1928 that Britain’s leading railway society was formed, under the wordy title of The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society – which understandably is best known by its RCTS initials.

In 2018 much has changed, with a vastly different railway industry and a continuously evolving railway society, which is happily celebrating 90 years of service to the world of railway enthusiasm, and as we all know is something vastly different to being a ‘trainspotter’.

The leading lights then were Aubrey Broad and Leslie Lapper, who earlier this year had a plaque in their memory unveiled at Cheltenham station. Over the years well in excess of 20,000 ferro-equinologists have enjoyed membership of the RCTS and many continue to do so today. The basics of what the society had to offer are little different in 2018 to 1928, being a monthly magazine reporting on everyday railway activities, regional meetings to hear talks from railway experts, and visits to railway installations, which continue despite the ever tightening screw over safety. Along the way other benefits were added to the mix.

Come and unfortunately gone again was the comprehensive railtour programme, but ongoing is the publication of detailed and quality books, primarily in the form of locomotive histories, and now just about to blossom, the society archive, located at Leatherhead railway station (definitely not a train station), which will house the

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