Visualising the Bradshaw 1906 Edition


L&YR timetable visualisation – Week Day- Friday 15 June 1906

L&YR timetable visualisation – Sunday – 17 June 1906

Bradshaw 1906, the L&YR and the 3D Parametric Modelling Project

We are developing a set of tools to make it possible to develop an online dynamic 3D model of an entire railway system. Such a model requires timetables of trains, and we aim to use the passenger timetables provided by Bradshaw’s Railway Guide. The Guide was first published in 1839 and became a national institution.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

We have selected the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company (L&YR) as the target system for our model. This company was formed in 1847 in the amalgamation of the Manchester and Leeds Railway with a number of former companies. It thrived as an independent company until 1 January 1922 when it merged with the London and North Western Railway. One year later, in 1923, the merged company was itself merged into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR), one of the “big four” alongside the London and North Eastern (LNER), Great Western Railway (GWR) and Southern Railway (SR).

We have chosen the L&YR for several reasons:

  • It was the railway company that developed the railways in Ormskirk which is the home of Edge Hill University
  • It was one of the most intensively worked railways in the UK and so it provides a comprehensive test for our tools
  • The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society, which is devoted to the dissemination of information about the L&YR, is a thriving society with over 800 members and is able to provide essential support to the project. Three of its members have formed the transcription team: John McGiveronFrank Ball and Alec Ralph. We are very grateful to them and to all the other Society members for the help and advice they are providing.

Transcribing Bradshaw

As far as we aware, Bradshaw Guides are not available in machine readable form apart from as scanned images. We decided, therefore, to develop an online system for registered transcribers to be able to transcribe the L&YR pages of Bradshaw 1906 which describes the railway during its high point. We also decided to provide a 2D visualisation of the transcription to support validation of the transcription. After we had made some headway into the transcription we realised that the 2D visualisation was providing a compelling view of the intensity of operation of the railway.

You can learn more about the transcription process by:

The Bradshaw Visualisations

You can run the visualisations by following these links:

Making use of the transcriptions

The 3D Parametric Modelling Project’s motivation for transcribing Bradshaw has been to contribute to the goal of building tools to visualise the operation of the entire L&Y online. We would expect that the data can also be used many other purposes. One feature we aim to implement is to provide a facility to create a timetable of trains passing any particular spot on the L&Y network over any interval of time
The transcriptions are stored in XML format and can be obtained by emailing:

[email protected]