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Other websites
There are many other websites containing information about UK wagons, of which a selection are listed below. If you encounter any dead links, or have suggestions for other sites to include, please get in touch.

Barrowmore Model Railway Group
I have added this site to the top of the list despite it not being primarily about wagons. However, on the Prototype page are a set of downloadable files that should be of great interest. The files cover most of the BR Wagon Diagram books from the early 1980s. Each PDF file typically has several hundred pages of drawings of wagons, organised by design code. Besides the drawings a lot of information about builders, lots, numbers, etc is included. As usual with diagram books, the accuracy and scaleability of the drawings varies a lot, but the key dimensions are provided. More files have been added over the past few years and most wagon types of the period are now covered.

Inter City Railway Society - Wagon Updates
For number crunchers, the ICRS (Inter City Railway Society) website has an archive of monthly wagon update sheets going back to April 2003. These provide varying amounts of detail for the changes in the wagon fleet each month. Some list just wagons added to or removed from TOPS, while others have all recodings, pool changes etc. Note that a lot of the hyperlinks on the page are broken. If you get a 'page not found' message, try changing the URL by adding '/Site' so that it matches the later links. If that doesn't work, try also changing the file extension (typically from .doc to .pdf).
This is a fantastic site with a huge number of pictures and lots of general railway fleet information for all the countries in Europe and some beyond. The galleries are nested and some of the headings are confusing (wagons are in 'car'/'freight'). There aren't a huge amount of UK wagon pics but, if your railway interests are more general and/or international, then this site is recommended.

Freightmaster On line
A lot of people will be put off this site by the fact that you have to pay for a subscription before using, and these can seem expensive. However, for your money you get access to regularly updated freight timetables for a wide variety of locations and to the Freightmaster On line Forum. Some of the membership evidently have access to TOPS, and the forum postings includes yard lists, movements and fleet reports as well as timetable changes, sightings, freight service news, location tips, photographs and general freight-related chat.

In 2012 Network Rail started making real-time train running data feeds available to 3rd party developers. The next two sites both use this data to present real-time information in a way that can be very useful to enthusiasts. Both work in more or less the same way; you enter a location, date and time, and a list of scheduled trains will be shown. The data is drawn from the Working Timetable so includes freight and engineering trains. Once a train has left its point of origin, you can see how it is running. The sites don't work in all web browsers but, if you can get them to show on a mobile device, they can be an invaluable tool for tracking down freight trains. One point to note is that neither site will show the headcodes for non-passenger trains.

This is my preferred site since it seems to be easier to filter the results to show non-passenger trains (pick ZZ as the operating company). There are a few quirks, probably resulting from the format the data feed is supplied in, and these mean that finding trains that are actually running is not always straightforward. I used this site many times during days out in April 2013 and it saved me a lot of hanging around. An article going into more detail about using the website may be added to this site soon.

Open Train Times
Although you don't seem to be able to filter the results by operator as easily on this site, Opentraintimes does have a few other interesting features. Perhaps the best are the line diagrams. Similar to the panels found in modern signal boxes, these show all the track and signals on a given route, along with the real-time state of each signal and position of each train. Several routes have been added so far (including most of the North London Line), with more planned.

The next four sites are all forums. As well as forum postings, most also have a files section with a few photographs and/or lists. With most groups, you need to join before you can start reading the messages. However, this is free and just requires an e-mail to the moderator. You will find that some people post the same message or report to two or more different forums!

WWWagons (Worldwide Wagons Forum)
Despite the name, this forum is very much focused on UK freight operations and wagons. As at April 2013 there were 1,220 members and over 68,000 posts. The content is not exactly armchair reading; a lot is either lists of train consists or TOPS reports. However, if you know what you are looking for, the search tool will help you find it.

Midlands Wagons
Despite the title, this forum is not restricted to the midlands region. Many of the postings are reports of wagon sightings, usually comprising just lists of numbers. Although hard to decipher, these can be useful when working out which wagons types are used in a particular area or traffic. Other posts cover a wide variety of wagon-related topics.

BR Wagon Research
As the name suggest, this forum is more for wagon enthusiasts than spotters and is frequented by many of the well-known experts on the subject. With a nominal cut-off date of 1999 (i.e. the subject matter is BR wagons up to 1999), this is the place to go to ask (or answer) any questions about wagons in the BR era.

Pretty much as per Midland Wagons but not quite so busy.

Page added: 22/01/2008 Spotted an error? Got some additional info?
Please e-mail me at tom (at)
Last edited: 01/05/2013