Saturday, November 14, 2009

Iron and Steel Makers Marks on rails


I've just come across your very nice website – interested in the old rails in particular.

A month ago I set up a group on the flickr photographers' website for iron and steel rail makers marks. ...

There are quite a few old rail pictures in the flickr group, back to the late nineteenth century, but not as old as the historic iron rails you have in your collections. I had not realised until people started posting pictures to the flickr group that very old rails were still in place on track bed in Canada, USA and Australia. In Australia they seem to have been quite often reused as fenceposts.

In Britain I think almost all old rails were taken up c. 1963, when the rail network was reduced in size with the closure of a lot of supposedly less profitable railway lines. So in the flickr group for example we have a Dorman Long rail of 1922 which is in a museum piece in NE England, whereas there are much older British rolled rails still in their original locations overseas. In the flickr group we have an older British rail in Sweden for example, so the exports were not all transatlantic.

—Tom Swailes from Bollington, Cheshire, England