French Railways Society

Welcome to the French Railways Society website

The French Railways Society is a group of like-minded individuals interested in French railways, railway models, other transport and (usually!) France in general. The Society was formed in 1976 as the SNCF Society to cater for the interests of British enthusiasts of French railways. The Society's original title was chosen as the most convenient way of expressing its aims, but following consultation with members was changed in June 2017 to the French Railways Society. 

The Society was the first of the UK continental railway societies to be formed and over the intervening years has built up a considerable library of books, railway journals and other material, including a large online photographic archive. With over 400 members, a number of whom live in France, we have a wide number of contacts covering most areas of interest. 

The Society produces a quarterly journal which is widely regarded as one of the best railway society journals in the UK. Each issue contains up to 50 pages or more of articles on the present-day French railway scene, historical matters, modelling tips, product and book reviews. It is well illustrated with photographs, scale drawings and track plans. The journal is published in March, June, September and December. It also includes a 'Stock Exchange' where members can advertise models and other items that are wanted or for sale.

The website publishes a monthly News Page (see link above) with a wide range of topical news covering both preservation and the current French rail scene. Details of charter train, railtours and other events in France is also published. The Members Section of the website provides details of the Society's archive and extensive library, almost certainly the largest collection of French railway books outside of France. The Society’s photographic archive is available for its members to view online, with over 50,000 images, drawings and plans; regular additions are made. 

An annual rendezvous is held with working model layouts, static displays, slideshow presentations, trade stands and the Society bring-and-buy stall. The Society is represented at model railway shows with members layouts and our sales stand. A couple of regional area groups hold meetings (details in the Journal). A range of publications and models can be purchased direct through our on-line shop.

The website members area also provides links to a large range of French railway videos dating from 1934 to the present day. The Society has a private members io. Group where members can share information, ideas or seek assistance.

Above. Early on the morning of 8th May 2021 BB67424/67481 cross the Tarn at Albi with ICN 3755 22:12 Paris Austerlitz. Below. Later on the same day the 14:20 Rodez - Brive formed of a single X73500 unit crosses  the 230m Tournmire Viaduct near Valady  between Decazeville and Rodez Both photos Erwan Quintin