Guidance for authors and potential authors of articles for the Journal

Separate guidance is available for authors of books. More detailed guidance is available on request concerning presentation of References and Bibliographies, Copyright, and preferred editorial style.

Scope of the Journal

The Journal is happy to carry articles on any topic within the Objects of the Society the relevant parts of which are:

  1. the study, recording and preservation, for the advancement of public education, of information, illustrative and other material relating to all railways of the British Isles and the British railway industry;
  2. the construction, operation and preservation and public exhibition of models of those railways and their equipment for the furtherance of the knowledge and education of the general public;


Proposals should be sent initially to the Chair and Commissioning Editor of the Journal Editorial Panel using the contact form or to the address on the inside cover of a recent issue of the Journal. Alternatively, material can be sent to the HMRS Museum & Study Centre for forwarding, though this may cause some delay.

The Chair and Commissioning Editor of the Editorial Panel will normally acknowledge receipt of the article or proposal and advise on the next stage.

A proposal for an article will normally be considered by one or more members of the Editorial Panel, after which the author(s) will be notified of a decision as to its likely suitability for publication and any comments.

A complete article will normally be considered by one or two members of the Editorial Panel, though not normally formally refereed. Any comments will be forwarded to the author(s) for attention or, if the article is considered unsuitable, guidance will be given as to why and if possible an alternative publication which might be interested. The article will then be passed to the Production Editor. Proofs will be prepared and the author(s) will be sent a PDF or printed copy of the article in proof form for checking. At this stage changes should be made only:

  • to correct any errors which have been introduced during typesetting and laying out; and
  • to correct any errors which have been discovered by the author(s) since submission of the article.

It is not possible to make major revisions at this stage as the article will have been allocated its pages within an issue of the Journal.

Material and information to be provided by authors

Unless otherwise requested by the Editorial Panel, the Society will require the author(s) to provide the following:

  1. A complete manuscript in digital form suitable for reading by Word or Open Office (if this is not possible a typed manuscript suitable for optical character recognition may be submitted). Please remove as much formatting as possible from the file as such formatting makes typesetting considerably more time consuming.
  2. A complete list of References or Bibliography (if any).
  3. A separate list of Figure captions with the identity of each file/photograph/diagram clearly identified.
  4. Physical or electronic versions of all photographs and other illustrations to be used in the article. File names of digital photographs and diagrams must make clear the identities of items (see below regarding minimum quality standards).
  5. Written confirmation that permission has been obtained for the use of any copyright material.

Note 1: It is the author(s) responsibility to pay any reproduction fees demanded by copyright holders.

Note 2: Please note that the Society does not hold the copyright to all the photographs and drawings in its collections.


There are certain areas where consistency is desirable.

  1. Photographs and diagrams should be given Figure numbers in one series. All should have captions which should include the name of the copyright holder if it is not the author(s).
  2. All Figures should be referenced in the text; this will often be in brackets. For example: “wagons were red brown with the lettering in two rows 1 ft high (Figure 16)”.
  3. Long manuscripts may be divided into sections. However, authors should normally avoid more than two levels of numbering.

The Society’s Production Editor will ensure consistency of style and check grammar, but it will be very helpful if the above guidance can be followed.


The TIFF format is preferable for photographs because there can be a loss of quality when JPEG format files are edited. Other formats are not suitable. Essentially, a photograph should be at least 300 dots per inch and preferably 600 dots per inch at the final published size. Typically, this will result in a monochrome photograph file of at least 1 Mb. For 35 mm slides it is advisable to produce scans at least 2400 dpi. Photographs should not be digitally manipulated for contrast, lightness etc before submission, though copies which have been modified to indicate what the author believes is a desirable appearance may be supplied to guide the editor. Photographs must not be altered in such a way as to change the content without consulting the Production Editor. Nothing is achieved by increasing the resolution of a photograph in editing software as this will usually degrade rather than improve the photograph quality.


If in doubt, please consult the Production Editor about line thicknesses etc. Lettering should normally be sized to be 9pt high at the published size and be in the Arial type face. Figures should preferably be drawn several times final size but when doing so authors should remember that line thickness will be reduced and may become too fine to print successfully. The typesetting program used has problems with line drawings in TIFF format so these should preferably be submitted in JPEG format. Diagrams may be submitted in printed/drawn form if the author is unable to create electronic versions.