A warm welcome to Six Bells Junction...

...the home of what is almost without doubt the largest archive of railtour information anywhere on the planet!

Just surf to 'The Railtour Files' in the side menu on the left and you can begin exploring over 20,000 pages of railtours dating back from the 1800's (yes, well over 150 years ago!) and right up to date. If you enjoy what you find then why not, if you have records of your own, check and forward me any new information as this will help the Website grow still further? There are guidelines for submitting info located a little further down this page.

Update News : as at 24/03/2024

Off-Internet commitments continue to eat up the vast majority of the spare time I have so SBJ updates will be few and far between for the foreseeable future. I am also unable to read/respond to any emailson a timely basis.

Normally I am usually updating SBJ roughly once per week, usually on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning. Priority for processing gen remains with tour Pages already supplied to me in html.

Please note that, due to the volume of e-mails being received I am unable to open, read and respond to them in a timely fashion; please accept my apologies for this but rest assured all new information received is still very much appreciated!

At the moment this Website is brought to you by two people; myself (Gary Thornton) as primary Webmaster and Nick Bartlett, Co-Editor and the main provider of 'current' tours (already in html format and basically ready for linking/uploading). Both of us lead busy lives off-Internet which impacts our ability to keep up even remotely with the volume of incoming information. The vast majority of e-mails and hard-copy submissions I receive are therefore being filed pending available time/resources to deal with it.

I must also put on record my thanks to John Debens for supplying many tickets and information for tours mainly up to the end of UK steam (but now also some post-steam and worldwide too) and also the painstaking and time-consuming research to verify information as far as practical...also to Bob Mitchell for also providing many ticket scans of "more modern" tours, which I am currently getting stuck into uploading. Thanks are also due to Barrie Hughes, Richard Strange, Jon Horswell & Clive barlow for volunteering to work through creating/revising and adding to tour Pages with new and corrected information and also Gareth Kelly for his patient work compiling detailed information on many of the more recent tours, which are now just waiting for me to transfer into html format before they see the light of day on SBJ.

For those interested in photographs, the two recent major Internet projects I've been engaged in are uploading most of my photo collection to Flickr and also scanning and uploading those of the late John Broderick. If you have a Flickr account yourself please consider following these two Flickr sites (and I will reciprocate to follow yours).

Please note: Regrettably due to personal time constraints I am unable to provide a search service on your behalf, or enter into discussions/debates about what may or may have happened on a particular tour...I simply do not have the time for that as I prefer to use what time I do have available for adding more information from the massive backlog waiting processing. There is a search tool on 'The Railtour Files' year index Page (below the contributor links section), please use that.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...when submitting tour information (assuming you want me to use your submission quickly);
the date, tour name and tour organiser in the SUBJECT LINE of your e-mail
...this will help me greatly when I am making updates as I can quickly identify e-mails in my inbox about the same tour. E-mails received without this vital information in the subject will be archived, unread, until such time as I may be able to work on them. The backlog currently stands at around 2,500 e-mails in total, and growing daily. What time I have available will be spent working on those which have been 'well presented'. E-mails simply offering/asking if I want tour gen/photos sending in will be deleted without response - if it is new gen you have to offer that is not presently uploaded on the site then please send it in. Please also, when sending timings, tell me whether they are booked or actual - in around 25% of submissions it isn't at all clear!

Finally, please also take note of the rest of the comments in the section "Submitting Gen? Please read first...", especially if you are sending information for the first-time, or infrequently. By submitting gen to this Website it is assumed you have read and are complying with the comments contained in that section.

Two last requests with respect to sending photos (or other large attachments);
1) No e-mails with very large attachments (files, photos etc) please without first clearing it with me - with digital photos these days being often 5mb each or more, it does not take many to exceed my ISP's mailbox limit and work commitments sometimes mean I do not download e-mails every day.
2) Please do not forward photos that were taken trackside, or have the appearance of having been taken from, 'inside the boundary fence', even if that was from a legitimate location (e.g. footpath crossing). Whilst enthusiasts and even the authorities took a liberal attitude to this a few decades ago, we live in a far different world nowadays and I do not want SBJ to be seen encouraging trespass or putting a photographers safety at risk. If your photo does not clearly show you were outside the boundary fence then it will not be used on SBJ. Exceptions to this are legitimate trackside photostops (remember them?!?) or photos from the 70's and earlier.

Want to use information from this Website elsewhere? Please read first...
Use of this information elsewhere

To those who follow the rules - you have my thanks, it is much appreciated.


Do you have any spotting records tucked away?
If they are from somewhere on the West Coast Main Line in the period 1948 to 1968 then they may be useful for this project.

Struggling to find a preserved railway or preservation site? Try this listing (with thanks to Ian Evans for supplying).
Please e-mail me with any additions or corrections so this document can be kept current.

Contributor Links & credit

The owners of the following Website(s) in this section have very kindly contributed towards the running costs of this Website;

My personal thanks also goes to Dave Kirwin, Bill Leatherland, Brian Whitaker, John Debens, John Simmonds, Vic Smith, Greg Morse, David Tomlinson, Ian Lyall, Tony Davies, Keith Jenkin/The Cornwall Railway Society, Paul Harrison, Tony Davies, Ken Horan, Bruce Nathan, Ben Darby, Peter Toogood, Jon Stubley, Dave Warby, Christopher Horne, Alan Ogilvie, Paul Grenfell, Ben Darby, Phil Pearson, Steve Beames, Bernie Holland, Richard Dixon, Richard Mercer, Mike Slassor, Andy Muir, Bob Yeadon, William Adam, Andrew Mellor, Dick Franklin, Bill Braithwaite, Keith Langston, Paul Walpole, Graham Latimer, Paul Drake, George Denscombe, Rob Moorcroft, Adrian Hartless, Dave Douglas, Alan Grange, Justin Edwards, Rodney Armstrong, Neil Berry, Alan Paterson, Gerald Brown, Ivor Bufton, Roy Gordon, Steph Gillett & Bill Ewing who have all chosen to make a financial contribution as a way of acknowledging the important source of reference that SBJ has become and enjoyment that can be derived when reading through the many pages of information and memories.

It currently costs me around 100/year to bring you Six Bells Junction. The cost is for the domain name (sixbellsjunction.co.uk) plus the provision of Webspace and mail forwarding etc. Though I've never asked it before, donations towards the running costs would always be gratefully received. I am willing in return to consider allowing adverts (of a railway interest/nature only) to be placed for an agreed period in this area of the homepage and/or in a prominent area at the top of the links Page, or simply include your name in the growing list of people who have financially supported this endeavour.
If you are interested then please contact me for further discussion, or simply make a donation via PayPal. Thanks in advance for your kind support!

Caption Contest

Caption Contest - some railway scenes deserving of a witty comment or two.

Locations of visitors to this page

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"We strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with your
equipment prior to using it for a special occasion"

Actual quote taken from a Jessops (camera shop) invoice!

This Website is copyright (c) Gary Thornton (webmaster@sixbellsjunction.co.uk).
All photographs and articles used on this site are my own work, unless otherwise stated. Copyright on all photographs remains with the photographer/collection owner.
The views expressed on these pages are mine only, unless otherwise stated (comments and views expressed in reviews are that of the reviewer unless otherwise stated).

Photographs and articles from this site may be copied for personal use ONLY, and not used on the web or elsewhere without permission.

Gary Thornton.