Records of Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works

Scope and Content

The archive is split up into organisational subdivisions as follows:

  • WOLV/1 Management records
  • WOLV/2 Correspondence records
  • WOLV/3 Design records
  • WOLV/4 Production records
  • WOLV/5 Workshop records

The following themes are represented throughout the archive:


The archive contains records covering all main functions of the works from the 1830s to the 1990s. It contains some record of nearly all vehicles produced at Wolverton. Detailed information on vehicles can be found in drawings (WOLV 3/1, WOLV 3/2), these drawings often show vehicles and material that was designed but never actually manufactured. The archive also contains an almost full set of drawing registers from 1886 that run until the 1980s. (WOLV 3/4). These record all drawings produced at Wolverton, even if the drawings themselves have not been preserved.

More information can be found from other sources including correspondence (WOLV/2), reports (WOLV 1/5, WOLV 1/14), order for new stock/specification files (WOLV 3/9) and photograph albums (WOLV 3/7) as well in files concerning building programmes (WOLV 4/4), condemnation (WOLV 4/10), and accounting and financial records (WOLV 4/8). Where possible lot numbers, drawing numbers and correspondence reference numbers have been referenced. This means that different types of record can be cross-referenced with each other.

The archive contains core records such as Stock Books that list stock built at the works from the 1840s to the 1910s (WOLV 1/1). After this it is possible to ascertain what stock was built at Wolverton through the ‘order for new stock’ files and specifications (WOLV 3/7). The archive contains experiment files showing tests carried out on stock at Wolverton (WOLV 4/9/3).

Later manufacture is covered in the Drawing Office project files (WOLV 3/11). Programmes such as the construction of newspaper vans and EMUs for Northern Ireland in the 1980s are described in these files. They also cover subjects such as the control of asbestos (WOLV 3/11/3/2/72).

Staff Records

The archive does not contain official staff records; however records relating to staff are spread throughout the archive. Some examples of where information on staff can be found are as follows: reports to the Locomotive Committee (WOLV 1/5) contain various references to staff, for example members of staff involved in accidents, undergoing disciplinary procedures, deceased, or serving in wartime; drawing registers (WOLV 3/4) contain photographs of staff members and biographical information next to the last drawing produced by them; the archive contains a small number of references written for staff members (WOLV 1/3/4); staff time books (WOLV 5/4) and piece work rate books (WOLV 4/8/6) show when staff were employed, what they did and information on pay; royal train files include some information on members of staff employed on the royal train (WOLV 3/10. WOLV 2/1); workshop records (WOLV/5) focus heavily on staff information; the ‘Staff Particulars’ volume (WOLV 5/1) contains names and addresses of staff showing where staff lived in proximity to the works; the register entitled ‘sick’ (WOLV 5/2/6) records staff member’s time taken off and their illness.

Wartime Records

The archive contains records from the Boer War to World War Two. There are drawings showing stock built during wartime throughout the main series drawings (WOLV 3/2); there are however few files relating to World War One in the archive, possibly because of World War Two paper salvage drives. Reports to the Locomotive Committee (WOLV1/5) contain lists of men serving in wartime in the Boer War and World War One; staff time books (WOLV 5/4) show which staff members were conscripted and sometimes staff members who did not return from wars. There is a large series of Air Raid Precautions files (WOLV2/6) that cover how the works planned to protect itself from air raids during World War Two. One works book from 1918 (WOLV 4/5/1/1) describes how the works disinfected Chinese labour trains.

There are a large number of drawings of ambulance trains both for World War One and World War Two, dispersed through the main drawings series (WOLV 3/2). Some of these show components that make up carriages e.g. ashtrays, equipment, and some show the whole layout of the train and labels who would reside in each carriage; diagrams of ambulance trains can also be found in diagram books (WOLV 3/3). Photograph albums show the outside and inside of ambulance trains WOLV (3/7).

Royal Train Records

Drawings of royal trains (often named ‘special trains’) exist throughout ‘main series’ drawings (WOLV 3/2). These span from Queen Adelaide’s saloon (even though this was not built at Wolverton) and Queen Victoria’s saloon up to modern saloons from the BR period, including vehicles now in the National Collection.

Drawings from main series (WOLV 3/2) show the formation of trains on royal train journeys and where members of staff and the monarch would have been on the train; diagram books (WOLV 3/3) also contain layouts of royal saloons.

Files from the Drawing Office (WOLV 3/10) and correspondence files (WOLV 2/1) deal with a wide range of topics including staff, members of the royal family and government who travelled on the trains, wartime travel, and details of specific journeys. Files compiled by the Drawing Office (WOLV 3/10/1) describe who was travelling on the royal train on certain journeys.

Files also detail fixtures and fittings in carriages and how they were painted, as well as technical information covering the construction and modification of carriages. The correspondence file on the fire in the trimming shop (WOLV 2/5) describes a fire at the works in 1933 where local people and staff saved the royal train from damage, this includes press articles and personal message of thanks from the King. Photograph albums show pictures of royal vehicles including photographs of them under construction.

National Collection

The archive contains records relating to objects in the National Collection including records on royal train carriages at the NRM. These can mostly be found in the main series drawing collection (WOLV 3/2) and in royal train files (WOLV 2/1, WOLV 3/10); there is a file covering the Duke of Sutherland’s Saloon (WOLV 2/18) which describes how it was transferred to the British Transport Commission instead of being sold, subsequently coming to the NRM. There are also files regarding the carriages to be pulled by the Flying Scotsman 1966-1969 (WOLV 3/11/3/2/57), carriages for the Coronation Scot service including an ‘order for new stock/specification’ file (WOLV 1/11), photographs (WOLV 3/7/1/5) and information on budgets (WOLV 4/7/1/9).

‘One off’ Records

The archive contains some ‘one off’ records that were presumably kept because they were deemed of historical interest. One of the oldest records in the collection is a letter from W.M.C. [surname illegible, possibly Coston], Blisworth, to Mr Fitzsimons, Wolverton (WOLV 1/3/1) from 1879, which appears to have been deliberately preserved. WOLV 1/4/3/11 contains two photographs of unnamed soldiers who presumably were members of staff. Records have been preserved from the LNWR Wolverton Savings Bank (WOLV 1/2), some of which have been photocopied, suggesting they were deemed ‘valuable’.

Some records are clearly part of a larger series and may have been retained accidently e.g. a volume containing references and paperwork received for newly employed staff members (WOLV 1/3/4) (this only covers two years); however the rest of the series has been lost.

Administrative / Biographical History

Origin, progress, development

Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works is located on the northern boundary of Milton Keynes. It was established in 1838 for the construction and repair of locomotives for the London and Birmingham Railway. In 1846 The London and Birmingham Railway joined with the Grand Junction Railway to become the London North Western Railway (LNWR). The works became the LNWR Engine Works and continued construction and repair of locomotives until 1865. In 1877 locomotive work ceased and was transferred to the LNWR Crewe works. Wolverton became the LNWR Carriage Works, taking over the role from Saltley Carriage Works, Birmingham. By 1907 Wolverton was the largest building and repair works in Britain; between 1900 and 1924 4500 staff worked there.

In 1923 railway companies in Britain were amalgamated into four main railway companies. The LNWR was amalgamated into the London Midland and Scottish (LMS) railway company and the works became the LMS Carriage and Wagon Works, Wolverton. Works activities were extended to include new wagon construction.

During World War One and World War Two British railway companies were temporarily taken under control by the Government. Companies were given a dispensation to undertake work on behalf of overseas railways or other organisations at home or abroad. During World War Two Wolverton repaired Whitley bombers, produced sections of Horsa gliders, and converted nearly 700 commercial motor vans into armoured vehicles.

In 1948 the railways were nationalised and Wolverton continued to operate as a major works under British Railways (BR). In 1962 all main BR works (at this point known as British Rail) were rationalised and Wolverton became a carriage repair works only, the site was reduced in size by 30 per cent. From 1970 onwards the works was operated by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL). From 1986 BREL was altered to form two separate divisions with Wolverton becoming under the jurisdiction of British Rail Maintenance Ltd (BRML). British Rail was privatised in 1993, the site was owned by Alstom until the mid 2000’s, the site is now operated by Railcare.

Administrative structure

There is no documentation in this archive to show how the works was run in its very early days, however we know that the works was managed by a Superintent and it is likely that foremen or workshop supervisors controlled work on the shop floor. During the LNWR period (1846-1923) the works was organised into departments under the Superintendent, namely; Accountant, Correspondence Clerk, Chief Draftsman, Works Manager, Storekeeper and Outdoor Assistant Departments. These were then subdivided into teams of clerks, assistants etc. Under these departments were workshops and their staff, this would have been where the majority of staff members worked. For more detail see London and North Western Railway Society Organisational Chart, Carriage Department (WOLV 1/3/3).

When the LNWR was amalgamated into the LMS the works was controlled by the LMS Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME). The LMS introduced a functional type of works organisation – all planning for new manufacture was undertaken in the Production Planning Office, which meant that little office work was carried out in the workshops. This is reflected in the small amount of documentation in originating directly from workshops in this archive.

Under Nationalisation some staff at Wolverton were under the jurisdiction of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer (CM&EE). These staff were responsible for examining rolling stock and had input into the design process. All other members of staff worked for the Workshops Division. Control functions in BREL workshops were similar to that of LNWR and LMS structure with departments for production, accounts, and personnel.

Other information

Wolverton was one of the first ‘Railway towns.’ Initially gas and water was supplied by company as well as the works fire brigade. In 1901 a central power station was designed by Works Superintendent C.A. Park and Wolverton became the first railway works to adopt electric lighting and machinery driving throughout. From 1919-1926 the works ran the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tram, which was the last steam tramway to operate in Britain.

Wolverton developed a single battery system that was designed to replace gas lighting in carriages. This became the standard for the LNWR and the LMS and was known as the ‘Wolverton System’ of train lighting. From 1950 BR carriages were fitted with more modem batteries and by 1964 the Wolverton system began to be replaced with other designs.


The majority of the archive appears to have originated from the Drawing Office and associated design offices with, other records originating from the Production Offices, General Management and Workshops. Arrangement is functional; records of the same functional activity have been grouped together into categories based on organisational provenance, using organisational charts, records and coding systems within the archive. Record series have been arranged chronologically for ease of reference.

Most of the archive is described to item level; sometimes component parts of the item are described to piece level. Some parts of the archive are described to sub-series level only. Some descriptions jump from fonds to item level, because there is only one item in the series.

Some file series covering similar subjects are found in separate administrative sub fonds, e.g. files regarding the royal train are found in design (WOLV 3/10) and correspondence (WOLV 2/1). This is because although these files relate to the same subject they were used by separate administrative sub-divisions.

Each sub fonds description show how each sub fonds has been arranged.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is given in accordance with the NRM access policy. Material from this archive is available to researchers through the Search Engine reading room. Some records in the archive are subject to access restrictions in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Where restrictions are in place this is indicated next the series/item description.

Opening times:

Search Engine is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 10.00-5.30. You don't need an appointment to use the library collection but you will need to book at least a week ahead if you wish to look at archival material.

To make a booking, email: We recommend you contact us at least one week before your visit.

Contact details:

Address: Search Engine, National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ. Email:

Check full details on the website at:

Other Finding Aids

This catalogue acts as the finding aid to this collection, reference numbers are provided for each item.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies of archive material have been produced to date.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Material mainly comprises paper, with some folders and volumes bound in leather. Drawings are usually on waxed linen although some are on tracing paper or are blueprint/dyeline copies. Some items have been repackaged with archival acid free paper and folders to minimise damage to records.

Where there are specific technical requirements these are listed alongside the item or series description.

Archivist's Note

Reports to the Locomotive Committee (WOLV 1/5) were listed and described by Student Volunteers, Jonathan Ellis, Stephen France, Matthew Bosworth, and Charlotte Clayton March-May 2011.

Early locomotive drawings (WOLV 3/1) were listed by Harry Jack, Simon Fountain and Martin O’ Keeffe of the London & North Western Railway Society.

LNWR drawings (WOLV 3/2/1) were listed by Simon Fountain, Martin O’ Keeffe, David Hanson, Richard Ball, Graham Evans, Phillip Millard and Francis Pearce of the London & North Western Railway Society.

LMS/BR (WOLV 3/2/2, WOLV 3/2/3) drawings and Order for New Stock files (WOLV 3/9) were listed by Ian Watson.

Description created by Jane Ronson (Archives Hub team) using the Archives Hub EAD Editor, June 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied of items in the archive, provided that the copying process used does not damage the item or is not detrimental to its preservation. Copies will be supplied in accordance with the NRM’s terms and conditions for the supply and reproduction of copies, and the provisions of any relevant copyright legislation.

Appraisal Information


Records that form part of repetitive file series and contain low level information have been sampled. Equipment/Machinery files (‘D’ Series) (WOLV 4/6), Modification/repair cards (WOLV 4/7/4) and piece work price cards (WOLV 4/8/16) have been randomly sampled. For more information see series descriptions.


Records that are duplicated have been removed, except when their duplication is significant. For example the document ‘British Railways Board Workshop Division: Re-Organisation of Wolverton Works as Part of the Overall Workshops Plan’ is found more than once in the archive (WOLV 1/6/3/3, WOLV 1/14/1/7,8).

Duplicated diagram books (WOLV 3/3) have been removed; the copy with the most amount of information retained. Duplicated photograph albums have been removed (WOLV 3/7); duplicate copies minutes that are held at The National Archives have been removed (WOLV 4/11).

Low level records

Very low level record have also been removed, for example low level correspondence; scraps of paper from files, information duplicated in higher level records.

Published material

Printed material, for example BR publications and manuals, that are likely to be duplicated elsewhere have been removed.

Custodial History

Transfer of material

The bulk of the archive was transferred to the NRM in 1986 directly from Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works. However some records originating from Wolverton reached the NRM through different routes and have been reunited with Wolverton material to form this archive.

Some publications (WOLV 1/6/1/4-13) were transferred from Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works to the British Railways Board Record Centre in London. These were subsequently transferred to the NRM, dates unknown.

Early locomotive drawings (WOLV 3/1) were transferred to the NRM from the former Museum of British Transport, Clapham, in 1975, along with drawings of other provenance (NRM inventory number 1996-7911). It is likely that they were transferred to Clapham from Crewe or directly from Wolverton, date unknown.

A proportion of the main series drawings (WOLV 3/2) were transferred to the NRM from the former Museum of British Transport, Clapham; there they were grouped into an ‘LMS series’. All drawings from the ‘LMS series’ that originated from Wolverton have now been added to the archive. These drawings form part of the main series drawings but have been distinguished with ‘LMS’ in the reference code.

Some photograph albums (WOLV 3/5) were removed from a ‘Misc’ photograph album series held at the NRM. It is likely that some of these albums may have originated from Derby, however for ease of reference these have been added to the Wolverton archive.

Absent material

This archive does not contain all records from Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works, many would have been transferred to other owners or destroyed

According to a letter in the Stephenson Locomotive Society Magazine 1955 and 1956 (see Useful Publications relating to this archive) there was a fire in J.E. McConnel’s Offices (Locomotive Superintendent of the Southern Division at Wolverton 1847-1862) at Wolverton in1855 which may have destroyed records. During World War Two Wolverton destroyed paper records as part of a national paper salvage drive.

Material originating from other corporate bodies

Some records from other corporate bodies have become part of the archive. This is because they were transferred to Wolverton for operational use during the works existence.

The drawing collection contains records from private companies and other railway works (WOLV 3/1, WOLV 3/2). The collection includes stock books from Saltley (WOLV 1/1/1), which were presumably transferred to Wolverton for administrative purposes when Saltley ceased carriage production. There are also records from Newton Heath and Earlestown such as diagram books (WOLV 3/3), and correspondence regarding staff from the British Railways Chief Accountant’s Office Manchester (1960’s-1970’s) (WOLV 4/8/12).


No accruals expected.

Related Material

As well as records and items listed below, objects relating to Wolverton Works are found the NRM Fixtures and Fittings from Railway Buildings, Passenger Comforts, Railway Furniture, Railway Heraldry, Railway Infrastructure, Railway Timepieces, Railway Uniform and Costume, and Tools of the Trade and Personal Accessories collections.

For further information please contact the NRM archive and library centre

Records from Plaistow work. Transferred to Wolverton and then subsequently transferred to the NRM. (There is a finding aid available.):

  • 2000-8465: Register of drawings, no 1-2314, December 1876-August 1913, from Plaistow Works, 1 volume.
  • 2000-8464: Drawings, Plaistow Works.
  • 1992-763: [Engineering drawing of 4-coupled bogie tank of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway / Tho. Whitelegg. 1907 Mar 11. Ink and wash on paper, scale 1" : 1'. Bears stamp of Plaistow Works, No. 1434 and signature of Thomas Whitelegg. He was locomotive carriage, wagon and marine superintendent of the L.T. & S. Ry. from 1879 to 1910].

Items that have been accessioned into the NRM archive collection from private sources/donors:

  • 2004-7419: Papers relating to work carried out at Wolverton Works on the carriages which accompanied the Flying Scotsman to the United States. Contains memoranda, notes and copy drawings. Kept in green cardboard file.
  • 1983-7002/139: Label for railway carriage, London & North Western Railway, Queen Victoria's Saloon, built Wolverton Works, 1869, headed 'Carriage & Wagon Engineer's Department, Works Superintendent's Office, Wolverton'.
  • 1983-7002/140: Inventory of loose furniture and equipment for railway carriage, London & North Western Railway, Queen Victoria's Saloon, built Wolverton Works, 1869, headed 'London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, Chief Mechanical Engineer's Department, Loco. Works Supt's Office, Derby 4th September 1933'.
  • 1995-7798: Membership card and rule book for the London Midland & Scottish (LNW) Insurance Society Rules, 1929 issued to Mr Arthur William Nicholls, Joiner, Wolverton. Admitted to the Society on 4 May 1939, membership number 458874.
  • 1996-7798: Collection of pay slips and appointment papers belonging to Mrs G Whitton (nee Nicholls), Clerical Officer for British Railways, Wolverton Carriage & Wagon Works Wages Office, 1950-1958, Hemel Hempstead/Watford 1958-1987.
  • E2003.103.9: 1 volume, London, Midland & Scotland Railway (LMS) 'LM&SR Special Saloons', Chief Mechanical & Electrical Engineer's Department, Wolverton.
  • 2003-8197: Note paper, London & North Western Railway carriage department, Wolverton station, A.R. Trevithick, 191_, (Other Associations 80/25/79).
  • 2003-8224: 2 notices, London & Birmingham Railway, Notice of a meeting at the Town Hall Buckingham, 31 March 1838, To discuss the railroad station at Wolverton, (Other IDs 76/25/632).
  • 2003-8224/1: Notice, London & Birmingham Railway, Notice of a meeting at the Town Hall Buckingham, 31 March 1838, To discuss the railroad station at Wolverton, (Other IDs 76/25/632).
  • 2003-8346: Leaflet, South Eastern & Chatham Railway Timetable, Royal train, 28 November 1899, The German Emperor & Empress, From Wolverton to Port Victoria, (Other IDs 77/43/15).
  • 2003-8351: Leaflet, South Eastern and Chatham and Great Eastern Railway, Time table of the train conveying His Imperial Majesty The German Emperor, From Port Victoria to Shorncliffe, From Shorncliffe to Wolverton, Saturday 8 November 1902, (Other IDs 77/43/25).
  • 2003-8358: Leaflet - timetable, Great Eastern Railway, Royal Train 28 November 1899, Conveying German Emporer & Empress, Wolverton to Victoria, (Other IDs 77/43/9).
  • 2004-8382: Railway Executive (London Midland Region) instruction book for the "Wolverton Train Lighting System Type "M. D."", 3rd edition, February 1949. 16 typed pages and 1 fold-out diagram.
  • 2008-8458: Illuminated address, paper, leatherette with silk inlay, to the chairman and directors of the London and North Western Railway Company given by the members of the Superannuation fund of Wolverton Carriage and wagon works officers, foreman and workmen on the occasion of the "Opening of the Park and Recreation Ground", 1885.


  • 1996-7311: Series of approximately 485 8½ x 6½ ins (wholeplate) glass negatives dating c.1928-1936. These are numbered between W1 and W2026.
  • 1996-7312: Two handwritten registers dating from the LMS period listing most of the 8½ x 6½ ins wholeplate negatives in 1996-7312 (above). One is a sequential numerical listing of negatives between W1 and W818, the other an alphabetical breakdown of the same negatives.
  • WOL 1-1320: Approximately 140 12 x 10 ins glass negatives dating c.1903-1926. Refernenced by a WOL reference number Some of these negatives have Derby numbers (prefixed ‘DY’) in addition to the WOL reference number. Part of same series as WNT negatives (below). There is a paper list for most of this series, Wolverton Works, Register of Official Photographic Negatives, LNWR & LMS, 1903 – 1932 (paper copy of handwritten register).
  • WNT 4-1318: Approximately 750 12 x 10 ins glass negatives from the WTN series, date c.1903 to 1926. At the end of the sequence are about 100 additional negatives, which have no WOL or DY numbers, and have therefore been numbered by the NRM. Part of same series as WOL negatives (above). These form part of 1995-7233, the accession of a huge collection of official negatives from a variety of companies, also known as the Oxford Publishing Company (OPC) or Railprint collection after it was marketed by British Rail in the 1980s. It was stored for some time at Blythe House. Listed in a photocopied register Wolverton Works, Register of Official Photographic Negatives, LNWR & LMS, 1903 – 1932 (paper copy of handwritten register).
  • 1995-7233: Official negatives from a variety of companies, also known as the Oxford Publishing Company (OPC) or Railprint collection after it was marketed by British Rail in the 1980s, these are 100 additional photographs added onto the WTN series above.
  • 2004-7705: Photograph, group, Wolverton Works Ambulance Team, Winners LMS Championship 1932, in glazed frame, 380mm x 305mm.
  • 2004-7706: Photograph, aerial view of BREL Wolverton Works, c. 1985, in glazed frame, 380mm x 325mm.
  • 2006-7442: Photograph, framed, group photograph, Works Superintendent, Assistants and Foremen, British Railways Carriage and Wagon Works, Wolverton, October 6th 1949, with key.

Pictorial Collection:

  • 1900-3: 14 Lithographed views of the London and Birmingham Railway when in course of construction, 1837: Euston Square Depot; Hampstead Road Bridge; Bridge over Regents Canal; Camden Town Depot; Watford Embankment & Colne Valley; Colne Viaduct near Watford; Nash Mill Bridge; Berkhamstead Cutting and train; Tring Cutting; Making the embankment, Wolverton Valley; Wolverton Viaduct; Blisworth Cutting; Avon Viaduct, Woolston; Sherborne Viaduct near Coventry.
  • 1977-7708: Lithograph. London and Birmingham. 'Wolverton Viaduct', August 1837. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by C Hullmandel. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St, and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London. 1839.
  • 1978-1827: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Making the Embankment, Wolverton Valley, 28 June 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London. July 1838.
  • 1978-1832: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Wolverton Viaduct, August 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit Street, and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London.
  • 1978-1884: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Making the Embankment, Wolverton Valley, 28 June 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit Street, and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London. July 1838.
  • 1978-1891: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Wolverton Viaduct, August 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London.
  • 1978-1894: Lithograph. Specimen of Bourne's sketches on the London and Birmingham Railway. 'Making the Embankment, Wolverton Valley, 28 June 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London.
  • 1978-1906: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Wolverton Viaduct, August 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London.
  • 1978-1913: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Making the Embankment, Wolverton Valley, 28 June 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London. 1838/07.
  • 1978-1915: Lithograph. London and Birmingham Railway. 'Wolverton Viaduct, August 1837'. Drawn and lithographed by J C Bourne. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St and Ackermann and Co, Strand, London.
  • 1978-1969: Lithograph. View of the New Church of St George the Martyr and Parsonage House, Wolverton Station, Bucks. (Church consecrated 28 May 1844). Wyatt and Brandon, Architects. Printed by Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen.
  • 1978-2059: Map. London and Birmingham Railway. London Division. Map of the Route from London to Wolverton and beyond. Engraved for Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway by John C Bourne and John Britton from Cheffin's Official Map. Published by J C Bourne, 19 Lamb's Conduit St, Ackermann and Co, Strand, London, and C Tilt, Fleet Street, London, 1839.
  • 1979-8148: BR (LMR) carriage print. Railway Architecture. Wolverton Viaduct by Kenneth Steel.
  • 1979-8295: Colour print (reproduction). Wolverton Viaduct, London and North Western Railway. Reproduced by Hutton Hartley Ltd, Manchester. One of a series of twelve reproduction prints of Historic Railway Bridges and Viaducts published by Railway Reproductions, 4 East Street, Helmshore, Rossendale, Lancs. (Original print drawn by J F Burrell and engraved by A Ashley for the British Gazeteer; published by H G Collins, 22 Paternoster Row, London).
  • 1980-7367 Engraving. 'Wolverton Viaduct, London and North Western Railway'. Drawn by J F Burrell. Engraved by A Ashley. Drawn and engraved for the British Gazetteer. Published by H G Collins, 22 Paternoster Row, London.
  • 1980-7415: Colour print (reproduction). Wolverton Viaduct, London and North Western Railway. Reproduced by Hutton Harley Ltd, Manchester. One of a series of twelve reproduction prints (in folder) of Historic Railway Bridges and Viaducts published by Railway Reproductions, 4 East Street, Helmshore, Rossendale, Lancs. (Original print drawn by J F Burrell and engraved by A Ashley for the British Gazetteer; published by H G Collins, 22 Paternoster Row, London).
  • 1990-7014: Carriage print, British Railways, Wolverton viaduct - Railway Architecture, by artist Kenneth Steel.
  • 1990-7229: Wash drawing by John Cooke Bourne, from a collection of views on The Construction of The London & Birmingham Railway. Wolverton Embankment Under Construction. Tipping in progress. June 29th, 1837. Dimensions 222mmx330mm.
  • 1990-7230 Wash drawing by John Cooke Bourne, from a collection of views on The Construction of The London & Birmingham Railway. Wolverton Viaduct. June 30th, 1837. Dimensions 216mmx340mm.
  • 2000-7496 Oil Painting, framed portrait in oils of George Carr Glyn, first Lord Wolverton, Chairman of the London & Birmingham Railway 1837-1846 and Chairman of London & North Western Railway 1846-1852, by F. Grant, R.A.

Railway Maps and Plans:

  • 1998-8576: Booklet, "Travelling Charts or Iron Road Books for perusal on the journey [from] London [to] Wolverton on the London and Birmingham", showing the route and with comments and illustrations about notable places, published by the Railway Chronicle, c1840s.
  • 1998-10259: Map of principal railways in England, property of George Carr Glyn Esq., later Lord Wolverton, Chairman of London & Brighton Railway Co., and first chairman of London & North Western Railway, presented to Directors of L&NW by Hon. Sidney Carr Glyn. [n.d.]. Scale: 10 miles-1". Mounted on board.

Tickets, Passes & Labels:

  • 1995-7766: Ticket, paper, London & North Western Railway, 1849, Second Class Free pass, ? to Wolverton.
  • 1995-7799: Identification card, London Midland & Scottish Railway, for Mr Arthur William Nicholls, Joiner, Wolverton Works, 1920-30s. Card number 66389.

Vehicles in National Collection. (Some of these vehicles may be on loan to other institutions):

  • 1975-7031: Railway carriage, London & North Western Railway, No 57A, Duke of Sutherland's Private Saloon, built at Wolverton railway works, 1899.
  • 1978-7059: Railway carriage, London & North Western Railway, 1st class corridor brake, No 5155, Royal Support Vehicle, built 1906 to diagram 127 no. 310, converted and transferred to royal duty in 1925, remained in service until 1977, restored by BREL Wolverton in 1979.
  • 1983-7002: Railway carriage, London & North Western Railway, Queen Victoria's Saloon, built Wolverton Works, 1869.
  • 1983-7006: Railway carriage, London Midland & Scottish Railway, Queen Elizabeth’s Saloon, No. 799, built 1941, Wolverton.

Railway Models:

  • 1975-8093: Model railway carriage, approx 1/16 scale, Queen Victoria's Royal Saloon built by London & North Western Railway to Richard Bore's design at Wolverton works, 1869, in articulated form but with four pairs of 4-wheeled bogies, model probably made at Wolverton, c.1890.

Oral history recordings:

NAROH2002-25: Groundwater, Kenneth. Booking office; freight; working conditions; privilege travel; trade union; pass clerk; trains clerk; reorganisation; area management; advanced traffic information; controller; merry-go-round; Motorail; Total Operations Processing System (TOPS); privatisation; performance; d.o.b. 1950-02-28, railway work: 1966-2002 (on-going), London Midland Region; Great North Eastern Railway; York; Newcastle; South Gosforth; Goswick; Cullercoat; Heaton; Carlisle; Blea Moor; Settle and Carlisle line; Benton; Long Benton; Gateshead; Tyneside Central freight depot; Chester-le-Street; Tyne yard; Basford Hall marshalling yard; Euston; Crewe; Wolverton; Doncaster; Cornwall; Scottish Highlands; Middlesbrough; York and Surbiton college.

NAROH2002-43: Hillyard, Christopher David. Royal train; apprentice; senior electrician; deputy to royal train supervisor; royal train manager; rolling stock; staffing; planning; finance; maintenance; Falklands Conflict; funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; opening of Channel Tunnel; reduced capacity; security; history; Golden Jubilee; d.o.b. 1957-03-04, railway work: 1973-2002 (on-going), Stoke; Portsmouth; Channel Tunnel; Wolverton.

NAROH2002-68: Butler, Stanley Walter. Office boy; apprentice; initiation tricks; trainee electrician; Second World War; rivalry within Wolverton Works; building AM4 electrical units; examiner; piece work pay; traction motors; carriage repair shop foreman; royal train; working with royal train foreman; royal coaches; absence on royal tours; learning how to behave with royal family; royal train manager; escort vehicle; royal train programme; marshalling error, excess train length; track removal, train blocked in depot; maintenance; pride in royal train; d.o.b. 1930-07-11, railway work: 1944-1993, Wolverton.

NAROH2002-88: Kingston, Gerald. Works apprentice; workmen's train; Second World War; canteen; marshalling yard; brake shop;royal train, coaches, nursery car, formation, staffing, preparation, shunting, servicing; single line working; special trips with royal train; rebuilding vehicles; social events; d.o.b. 1924-11-05, railway work: 1940(?)- 1987, Wolverton works; Newport Pagnell; Northampton marshalling yard; Bayford tunnel; London King's Cross; London Euston; Ballater; Balmoral; Carlisle; Aberdeen; Hitchin; Bounds Green; Pickering; Barnstaple.

NAROH2002-134: Pateman, Marjorie. Machine operator; riveter; technical college, lathe operation and tool making; wheel shop, war work on shells; machining bands to correct gauge; shift patterns; meal breaks; first experience of mixed work force; transfer form machine shop, frame shop; lack of protective clothing; problems with blackout; description of riviting work; bench work; privitisation of works, change in standards; method of payment; intensity of job; d.o.b. 1925-05-19, railway work: 1942-1948, Wolverton; Stony Stratford; Coventry; Blackpool; Wolverton Works.

NAROH2002-171: Pollard, Maurice. Scientific officer, design and development; managing director; consultant; track roughness; Wickham Car; Alastair Gilchrist; East Coast Main Line (ECML); inertia methods; High Speed Freight Vehicle (HSFV); Advanced Passenger Train (APT), roller rigs, laboratory; double link suspension; hydraulic tilt system; foam arrester; incident; cleanliness and leaks; Magnetic Levitation Vehicle (Maglev), aspects of design, computer controlled, conference; Derek Linder; suspension; rapid transit freight & locomotives; cross braced bogies, explanations applications; Roger Goodall, active suspensions, digital control, Hastings coach; Trestrol vehicle; Mark 3 coach; closed/open loop system; Voyager trains; foreign business trips; Clapham Junction disaster; royal train; upgrading; alternating current; adhesion problems; new diesel engines; paint development; working practice and culture, research department; 1989 organisational change; reduction of staff, loss of company autonomy, difficult funding projects; management buyout; Peter Watson; needs of railway industry, little results; purchase of Railtest; railway accidents; review of class 91; hydrogen cracking; Riccardon axle failure; d.o.b. 1944-07-16, railway work 1969-present day (date of record), Wolverton; Nottingham-St Pancras; Old Dalby test track; Beattock; Birmingham International; Solihull; Japan, Tokyo-Osaka; Blaenau-Ffestiniog; Kenya, Malaysia; Doncaster; Vancouver; Denmark; Great Western Railway; British Railways; Union Internationale Chemin de Fer; West Midlands C.C.; General Electrics Co.; Transport Projects Ltd; Brush Metro-Cammell; GEC Wilton Kramer; British Rail Engineering Ltd (BREL); Gloucester Carriage & Wagon Co; Powell-Duffryn; American Steel Foundries; Scheffel; London Underground Central Line; Bombardier; Rail Freight Services; Interfleet Technology; The Engineering Link; W.S.Atkins; SIG, Switzerland; Manchester University; AEA Technology; SERCO.

Related units of description held elsewhere, listed by repository:

The National Archives

This is summary of main collections held by TNA. For further more detailed analysis see ‘the catalogue’:

London and Birmingham Railway Company, ref: RAIL 384. This series consists of miscellaneous records of the London and Birmingham Railway Company. 1830-1863.

London and North Western Railway Company: Records, ref: RAIL 410. This series contains minutes and reports of the Court of Proprietors, general meetings, board meetings, and various committees, reports to the board, accountant's records, stock and shares registers, deeds, agreements, contracts, specifications, estimates, plans, books, circulars and notices, locomotive and rolling stock records, reports on bills deposited in Parliament, petitions and memorials to directors, correspondence and papers, staff records, publications, civil engineer's records, solicitor's records and marine records. 1803-1953.

Wolverton Living Archive

Living Archive On Line is a living history of Milton Keynes and district. Through the site, people share their memories, photos, knowledge and opinions about the city - as it is today and as it was in the past.

The collection contains over 300 oral histories from Milton Keynes citizens, this includes a collection of oral histories still images and research process documents, entitled 'All Change'. Documents relate to the coming of the railways and the creation of the railway towns of Wolverton and New Bradwell in Buckinghamshire, during the years 1832-1865.

Topics include the Captain Swing riots, disputes with the canal company and the building of the London to Birmingham Railway (LBR).The material was originally sourced by the Stantonbury Campus Drama Group to produce a musical documentary retelling the story of early Wolverton.

The website contains photographs and articles relating to Wolverton and the works including the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tramway, Ambulance trains and the Wolverton Refreshement Room.



Milton Keynes Museum

The museum holds artefacts and archive material. Archive material includes names of people employed at Wolverton Works in the 19th and 20th Century, works record cards, selected Wolverton Works health and safety reports, photographs and local newspapers.


Research page:

London and North Western Society (LNWRS) Archive

The Archive Service curates a collection of original material, such as working timetables, rule books, operating instructions, diagram books, postcards, drawings and photographs.

Contain letters, maps, scrapbook material including periodical cuttings, reports, minutes, photographs and correspondence, contains a copy of an LNWR photographic register 1904-1931, colour prints, tickets, diagrams, notebooks, page from staff register, booklets, leaflets, statements, drawings. For more information see the main catalogue (link below).



Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

Records relating to the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tram, plans of railway properties, railway plans and sections, staff houses in Wolverton, Science and Art Institute, Wolverton. Specifically AR 51/1979 - Booklet advertising new training school at Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works, 1954; D-X 1577 - Records of the British Transport Commission and predecessors including agreement for electricity supply to Wolverton Works, 1943; D-X 1618 - Wolverton Railway Works: diagram of wheeled equipment (hand trucks, barrows, cartage vehicles, etc), 1913-1947; AR 95/2003 - Additional records relating to Milton Keynes including correspondence with British Railways for Bletchley and Wolverton, 1940s-1960s (3 files).

The website contains some photographs of the works, tram and housing.


Photographic database:

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service

Holds the National Corporation: railway records collection ref: NPR, this contains maps and plans of Wolverton Works, records relating to the Stony Stratford Tram.


Milton Keynes Local Studies Library

Census records from Wolverton, All Change musical documentary relating to early Wolverton and the railways, auction catalogue from Wolverton Depot, 1987, British Rail Maintenance Limited : sale of maintenance depots : minutes of evidence, Dispute at Wolverton Works, 26th October , 1925, Documents dealing with the General Strike - Wolverton Works 1990, also includes architectural surveys and published works relating to the works.


Location of Originals

Items in the archive are originals unless otherwise stated.



  • Bellchambers, Eric Both sides of the wall : memories of a Wolverton apprentice / Eric Bellchambers. Stantonbury : People’s Press of Milton Keynes, c1988.
  • British Railways. London Midland Region. Wolverton carriage and wagon works : description of the training school and the progressive system of workshop training / Carriage & Wagon Engineer’s Office, London Midland Region. Derby : British Railways, 1954.
  • Dunleavy, Bryan The lost streets of Wolverton / Bryan Dunleavy. [S.l. : s.n.], c2010.
  • Elliott, Bill, 1884-Piano & herrings / [by] Bill Elliott. Milton Keynes : The People’s Press of Milton Keynes, 1975.
  • Great Britain. Railway Executive. London Midland Region.. The Wolverton "M.D." system of electric lighting for trains / Railway Executive. London Midland Region. Derby : C. M. E. Department, 1949.
  • Hands, Peter. B.R. steam shed allocations : London Midland Region sheds / by P. B. Hands. Solihull] : Defiant, 1987.
  • Hyde, Francis Edwin. Wolverton : a short history of its economic and social development / by Francis E. Hyde ; maps by Marian R. Hyde. Wolverton : A. J. Emerton, 1946.
  • Jack, Harry Locomotives of the LNWR Southern Division : London & Birmingham Railway, London & North Western Railway and Wolverton Locomotive Works / Harry Jack. Sawtry : Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, 2001.
  • Jack, Harry The L.N.W.R. bloomers Wolverton’s 7ft. singles / by H. Jack. Crewe : London & North Western Railway Society, 1987.
  • Jenkinson, David. LNWR carriages : a concise history (including West Coast Joint Stock) / David Jenkinson. York : Pendragon, 1995.
  • Larkin, Edgar J., 1900- The railway workshops of Britain, 1823-1986 / Edgar J. Larkin and John G. Larkin. London : Macmillan, 1988.
  • Marsden, C. J. (Colin J.) BREL : British Rail Engineering Ltd / Colin J. Marsden. Sparkford : Haynes, c1990.
  • Millard, Philip A. London & North Western Railway : thirty foot one inch carriages / Philip A. Millard. Handbridge : London & North Western Railway Society, 2008.
  • Millard, Philip A. LNWR Great War ambulance trains / by Philip A. Millard. Potters Bar : London & North Western Railway Society, 1993.
  • Millard, Philip A. Selected L.N.W.R. carriages / a detailed commentary by Philip A. Millard. Crewe : London & North Western Railway Society, 1989.
  • Simpson, Frank D. The Wolverton & Stony Stratford steam trams / by Frank D. Simpson. Bromley Common : Omnibus Society, 1982.
  • Millard, Philip A. L&NWR non-corridor carriages : 1886-1923 excluding the 30ft 1in 6-wheelers / by Philip A. Millard, Ian Tattersall. Derby : London & North Western Railway Society, 2006.
  • Miller, R. W. (Robert William) London & North Western Railway : Company houses / R. W. Miller. Loughborough : London & North Western Railway Society, 2004.
  • Plumridge, John Henry, 1894-Hospital ships and ambulance trains / by John H. Plumridge. London : Seeley, 1975.
  • London and North-Western Railway.. Description of the London & North Western Railway Company’s carriage works at Wolverton, 1906. Derby : London & North Western Railway Society, [2006].
  • West, Bill Remember Wolverton, Stratford & Bradwell : the story of three towns in a council 1919-1974 / by Bill West. Buckingham : Baron, 1992.
  • West, Bill The moving force : the men of Wolverton 1838-1988 : celebrating the 150th anniversary of Wolverton works / Bill West. Buckingham : Barracuda, 1988.
  • West, Bill The trainmakers 1838-1981 : the story of Wolverton Works / Bill West. Buckingham : Barracuda Books, c1982.
  • West, Bill The Railwaymen : Wolverton 1838-1986 / Bill West. Buckingham : Barracuda, 1987.


  • ‘The Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway’ in Premier News - see L.N.W.R. Journal (Summer 1983, issue 49) p 3.
  • ‘The Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway’ in Scale Trains - see Scale Model Trains (July 1987) p 313.
  • ‘Wolverton carriages’ in Railway Bylines (Aug 2000, vol 5.09) p 404.
  • ‘The twelve wheelers of Wolverton’ in Modellers Backtrack (July/Feb-March, April-May) 1992) p 61, p 244, p 21.
  • ‘Wolverton & Stoney Straford 0-4-0ST in the early 1920s – photo’ (Nov/Dec 2004) p 8.
  • ‘M284291 - Instruction car, built Wolverton 1899’ Historical Model Railway Society Journal (not HMRSjnl) (Oct-Dec 1998) p 275.
  • ‘Pendolino mods breathe new life into Wolverton Works’ Railway Magazine (Feb 2004) p 10.
  • ‘50ft bogie vans being built at Wolverton to carry motor cars’ Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Review (March 1905) p 53.
  • ‘Wolverton drawings and horseboxes’ L.N.W.R. Journal (Jun 1999) p 296.
  • ‘Bloomin' good tribute (Wolverton at Milton Keynes)’ Rail News Update (Association of American Railroads) (Dec 1991) p 8.
  • ‘Long live the Wolverton "Bloomer" (at Milton Keynes)’ Railway Magazine (Dec 1991) p 859.
  • ‘Notes on LNWR model carriages’ (at Wolverton) L.N.W.R. Journal (March 2004) p 130.
  • ‘Wolverton repairing water damage to Metro trains’ Railways Illustrated (Feb 2004) p 30.
  • ‘Shared wagon construction (Wolverton & Derby)’ L.M.S. Journal (2002, 10) p 51.
  • ‘Alstom sells works (Springburn & Wolverton)’ Rail Express (Jan 2007) p 9.
  • ‘Track Supplies & Services, Wolverton’ Industrial Railway Society Bulletin (1982).
  • ‘The Wolverton type Mansell wheel’ L.N.W.R. Journal (Dec 2000, March 2001) p 87, p 122.
  • ‘Five spans (at Wolverton)’ British Railways Illustrated (Nov 1999) p 82.
  • ‘German locos in Bucks & Northants (Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway)’ Merkur (Aug 1997) p 122.
  • ‘ L&NWRy - Plan of Wolverton Works & Town’ Premier News - see L.N.W.R. Journal (Oct/Nov 1989) p 10.
  • ‘Pendolino retrofit programme gives new lease of life to Wolverton Works’ Entrain/Today’s Railways UK (March 2004) p 49.
  • ‘Some railway accident anniversaries (Wolverton 5.6.1845)’ S.L.S. Journal (1947) p 232.
  • ‘The founding of the London & Birmingham Railway's schools at Wolverton’ L.N.W.R. Journal (Jun 2002) p 293.
  • ‘The Wolverton mixing valve’ Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Review (Aug 1952) p 132.
  • ‘The Wolverton Works shunters’ Railway Bylines (July 2000) p 358.
  • ‘Wolverton 18 inch goods of 1856’ Premier News - see L.N.W.R. Journal (Sept & Dec 1993) p 19.
  • ‘Wolverton and the Royal Connection’ Railways South East (Winter 1988) p 148.
  • ‘Wolverton in 1842 / Wolverton Refreshment Room’ British Railway Journal (London and Birmingham Special) p 66.
  • ‘Wolverton 'Royal Train' shed to become part of the NRM’ Steam Railway (Oct 1993) p 11.
  • ‘Wolverton Villas’ L.N.W.R. Journal (March 2003) p 433.
  • ‘Woodworking at Wolverton’ Premier News - see L.N.W.R. Journal (Oct/Nov 1989) p 8.
  • ‘Digging for railway history: Wolverton's secret garden’ L.N.W.R. Journal (Dec 2003) p 108.
  • Sorting of screws (at Wolverton) L.N.W.R. Journal (Dec 2004) p 271.


  • British Railways. London Midland Region. British Railways magazine, London Midland edition. London : British Transport Commission, 1950-1963.
  • London & North Western Railway Society. The L & NWR Society journal. London and North Western Railway Society journal.
  • London Midland and Scottish Railway Company. LMS Railway magazine. London : London Midland and Scottish Railway, 1923-1939.
  • London Midland and Scottish Railway Company. L.M. & S.R. gazette. London : London Midland and Scottish Railway, 1923.
  • London Midland and Scottish Railway Company.. On time, the journal of the LMS operating department. S.l.] : London Midland and Scottish Railway, 1938.
  • London Midland and Scottish Railway Company. Carry on, LMS staff news magazine.
  • London Midland and Scottish Society. LMS news. [Glasgow] : LMS Society, 1969-.

Oral history recordings

  • Living Archive. The Works : [sound recording] a radio documentary about the Railway Works and railway town of Wolverton. [Milton Keynes : Living Archive, 2011?].