Online Resources for Exploring Old Railways in the UK

The websites to use when researching old railways and other historical sites in the UK including old maps.

Last updated 5/2023 English

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This course is about the online resources available to research old railways and other historic locations in the UK.

First, we look at the old maps available on the National Library of Scotland website - a wonderful resource. The Ordnance Survey published the first series of maps covering the whole of the UK in the 1880’s. The NLS has digitised all of these maps and the later map series right through to the 1960’s. That makes it possible to view the changes in a landscape or location over time.

The course will show how to use the online maps to identify the routes of dismantled railways and other items.

The topics covered in the course include:

  1. The online resources available to research old railways and other historical sites in the UK
  2. The digitised old maps available online
  3. Online directories of photos and historical information relating to old railways and other relics of the industrial revolution in the UK
  4. How to use the online resources to research a location or site

This course is aimed at those researching railways and other historical sites in the UK. Other countries are not covered but if British history is your thing, I think you'll find this course useful.

Who this course is for

  1. Learners interested in UK railways
  2. Students of UK history from the industrial revolution onward
  3. Students interested in old maps

What you'll learn

  1. How to explore the routes of old railway lines in the UK and their remains in the modern landscape
  2. The digitised old maps of the UK available online
  3. Online records of historical locations in the UK
  4. Online maps of old railways in the UK


There are no pre-course requirements.

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