About / FAQ

The North Eastern Railway Association was founded in 1961 and is a registered charity (No. 1164199) run entirely by volunteers. Our charitable object is to advance the education of the public in the history of all the railways that have operated in the North East of England, particularly the North Eastern Railway, its constituents and successors.

To achieve this object our main activities are:
a) Collecting and preserving historical records and making them available to members and other interested individuals.
b) Regularly publishing a journal containing historically accurate information and analysis.
c) Arranging a programme of meetings/exhibitions, open to members and the public, to disseminate accurate information.
d) Encouraging the construction of accurate models of the stated railways’ rolling stock, buildings, equipment, and operations.
e) Encouraging the writing of appropriate books and their publication, which educate the public.
f) Working with public and private bodies such as community rail partnerships and train operating companies to produce guidebooks and information panels for the benefit of the public.

Journal.

  • The North Eastern Express, a quarterly A4-sized glossy magazine for association members is used to publish informative illustrated articles on topics within our scope. A supplement covers current events, administrative matters, etc. Members may also download the current year’s magazines without charge.
  • A sample copy of the magazine is available as a free download on our Shop page.
  • Copies of all the Express magazines previously published (dating back to 1961) are available, in read-only form, in the members-only section.

Meetings.

  • Prior to Covid-19 we held face-to-face meetings in York (two), Darlington (three), Hull (two), and London (one) each year. Due to Covid concerns these are temporarily suspended.
  • Since Covid-19 we have largely replaced these face-to-face meetings with talks delivered by Zoom. It is likely that some of these will continue even after face-to-face meetings resume. Members are able to access recordings of the Zoom talks.

Models.

  • Each issue of Express usually has a couple of pages devoted to model topics. Many past Express articles have included scale drawings, suitable for modellers, of various subjects including locomotives, carriages, and buildings. See our Model Showcase page
  • Members have access to a website area which can be used to advertise items for sale.

Books.

  • The association has published about 20 books in its own right. They invariably receive the highest ratings when independently reviewed. More books are under development, typically one new book per year. Please see the Shop page for books currently available. Second hand copies of NERA books now out of print seem to sell at higher prices than when they were first published.
  • NERA also publishes a range of copies (often described as facsimiles) of original documents. Notably this includes line diagrams (a strip map of all the major civil engineering features of a line), and diagram books (a variety of subjects including locomotives, carriages and wagons). Please see the Shop page for books currently available.
  • NERA has also published one DVD, a copy of the NER Staff magazine (1911-1926), with other DVDs in preparation.

Information Supply.

  • Accurate historical information has been supplied for use at many locations across our area of interest. This has mainly been about stations, including historical images, but also includes specific items such as structures, as well as information for use in publications by community rail groups.
  • Our archives team handles a wide variety of questions. They endeavour to answer drawing on their own knowledge and the expertise of other NERA members, along with reference to our extensive archive and that of the Ken Hoole Study Centre.

Walks and Tours.

  • Pre-Covid we arranged a led walk (at least once a year) to visit an area with former railway infrastructure to view. In recent years these have included walks starting from Wylam, Guisborough, Shildon, Durham, Pickering, Grosmont, Hull, and Newcastle.
  • Pre-Covid we arranged a coach tours, which typically visited areas with railway interest, with multiple pick-ups in the catchment such as York, Darlington and Durham stations. In recent years these have included: a tour of stations and sights in the upper Wear valley; a visit to Kirkby Stephen East station; a visit to Embsay to travel in the restored NER internal combustion powered Autocar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What area do you cover ?

The territory of the former North Eastern Railway, extending roughly from north of Doncaster to the Scottish border, and from the east coast to the Yorkshire Dales.

Northumberland
Durham
South

For an introduction to the NER please see the NER Wikipedia entry

What time period do you cover ?

From the inception of railways, to the present day. So that includes the Stockton & Darlington Railway, to current developments (eg privatised railway operators, Tyne and Wear Metro).

Do you cater for modellers ?

Yes we have many members who model railways, and modelling articles feature regularly in our Journal

Do you sell books on North Eastern Railway subjects ?

Yes, we have a good range of books on the NER, as well as facsimiles of original railway documents, which we publish ourselves and sell via our online shop.

The books are largely the result of member’s research, and we welcome approaches to consider publishing new material.

How can I join ?

Please see the Membership page

My relative worked for the railway in the area, how can I find out more about them ?

The Head of Steam Museum has extensive records of railway employees, more details are also given in the Archives page.

Sorry but we don’t do family history research.

What is there in the archive ?

Please see the Archive page

Can I find out if others share my interest in a particular topic ?

Of course ! Members can post questions and answers on our Forum page. If you wish, you could also post a question on our Facebook page, or drop a line to our Editor or Archivist using the contact form.

Our members are regularly involved in primary research at County Record Offices, the National Archives (Kew), and elsewhere.

I have some old material relating to railways in the north-east, would you like me to donate it ?

We are particularly keen on donations of original documents.

Please click on the Collections Policy button on the Archive page

I am building a model based on the NER – can you help ?

Please use contact the Archivist via the Contact page

Is there a way to sell items eg models no longer required ?

Members can post items for sale or wanted in their My Forum page.

I have a different question ?

Please use the Contact page