The Railtour Files

Welcome to 'The Railtour Files', the major part of Six Bells Junction.

This set of Webpages are an attempt to list the motive power and routes of as many UK railtours (and some non-UK tours) as possible.
Tour details from each year can be found by following the links below;

2020 21 22 23 24          
2010 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
1990 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
1980 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
1970 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
1960 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69
1950 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
1940 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
1930 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
1920 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
1910 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
1900 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
...and finally, the oldest ones yet...
1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
Tours that did not run/were postponed Not a railtour/charter (but headboard carried)
Can you help identify this particular tour? The Thanks Page

Update News : as at 25/04/2021

There has been an enforced break from SBJ updates due to the recent hard drive failure of my main desktop pc on which I update SBJ. A new desktop pc has been procured and contact has been re-established with the domain server so that updates should re-start shortly.

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 and Jon Horswell 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.

Can you help? Do you have the ability to provide information already in html format? If the answer is yes then there is definitely a welcome for you to join Nick and myself to assist growing SBJ further! Please get in touch and offer your services, we look forward to hearing from you....

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 above '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.

Contributor Links

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 ( 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!

Looking for something in particular - a loco, a tour etc? Try this search engine and you may be in luck!

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These Webpages are dedicated in memory of;
Alan Bradley (1948 - 2000)
John Broderick (????-2016)

 Remember : window-hanging is dangerous!

This Website is copyright (c) Gary Thornton (
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.