oldpway.info FAQs page
This page answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about oldpway.info
that are not answered by the
Q. What has been added to oldpway recently, and when?
Additions and changes to oldpway include:
- July 2022. Added to the Weardale Railway History part of oldpway
information on WW1 POW camps
which housed German POWs working in Weardale limestone and ganister quarries,
including dating evidence of when Heights Quarry Incline was built.
- May 2022. Added:
Glossary includes meaning of "Jump line", also known as "Jump track", with illustrations.
The Weardale Railway History part of oldpway now includes
snapshots of all the 1st Edition 25 inch OS maps of Weardale Railways surveyed in 1857-1858,
and all the Stanhope Parish 1861 Census Returns.
- May 2021. Added:
GWR_1853-68_collection of 52 Permanent Way Materials Drawings; from various railway companies, manufacturers and patentees, including many drawings of switches and crossings. Includes switches with unequal length tongues.
oldpway now includes some research information about
Weardale Railway History.
- November 2020. Added:
David Wroe Archive;
"A Century of Permanent Way" by Fred Bland, 1925;
Article on British permanent way manufacturers;
LSWR double slips drawing;
NER 1912 stretcher rod drawings;
Glossary includes meaning of "Looping points" and "Rivetting crossings".
- November 2015. Lists: Added lists of drawings and objects at NRM, and lists for drawings held by LNWR Society, Heritage GCR, Caledonian Railway Association.
Drawings: Added 1895 IRC drawings, 1905 REA joint drawings, and drawings for Caledonian R, LNWR, LSWR, MS&LR/GCR, SE&CR.
- October 2013. First created, with limited information, but includes 1900 IRC drawings.
Q. What is included on oldpway.info and what is not?
It is difficult to decide where to draw the boundary of what to include on oldpway.info and what to exclude.
In general the following apply:
- Permanent way, including plain line, points and crossings, jointed and welded track, bridge and viaduct track,
narrow gauge track, undergound track, contractors' temporary track.
- Special layouts, such as cross-overs, three-way points, slips.
- Design information, such as formations, standard embankments and cuttings, cants, transition curves.
- Permanent way materials, including rails, conductor rails, guard rails, sleepers, sleeper treatments,
chairs, baseplates, fastenings, fishplates, fishbolts, rail lubricators.
- Turntables, buffer stops, level crossings.
- Mile posts, distance posts, gradient boards, loading gauges, structure gauges.
- Hand operated points levers, facing point locks, locking bars (but not other signalling equipment).
- Permanent way maintenance (hand) tools (but not trolleys, wagons and mechanised equipment).
oldpway.info generally does not include the following (but they are sometimes mentioned):
- Track layouts at specific stations or works.
- Bridges, tunnels, viaducts (except permanent way for them).
- Signals, signal rodding from signal boxes, signal interlocks, point motors.
- Water tanks and columns, platforms, loading and unloading docks (except permanent way for them), buildings.
- Notices, such as trespass signs, whistle signs, temporary and permanent speed restrictions.
- Fences, gates, boundary posts, platelayers' huts, fogmen's huts.
- Permanent way maintenance trolleys (manual and powered), wagons (such as ballast and rail wagons),
mechanised equipment (such as tampers, liners, cranes, renewal trains).
Q. Why isn't some particular piece of information on oldpway?
There are three possible reasons:
- oldpway knows about the information, but it has not yet been put on the website.
There are hundreds of books, papers, articles, drawings and photos waiting to go on the website!
It is better to have something on the website rather than wait till lots more is available.
- oldpway might not know about the information.
- The information is outside the scope of the website (which is defined in the previous FAQ).
Q. Why isn't it possible to read or view copies of everything on-line?
There are three possible reasons:
- oldpway knows about the information, but has not got a copy which could be put on-line.
- oldpway has a copy of the information, but has not yet had time to create an on-line readable version.
- The information is copyright, so cannot be put on-line wihout permission of the copyright holder.
Q. How can I contact oldpway.info?
Please use the
Contact Details page.
Q. What about Copyright?
This website does not deliberately infringe copyright.
If you think any item might be copyright, please
so Ernest Bate can try to resolve the concern.
A guide to copyright in the United Kingdom is
The government guide to exceptions to copyright is
It is intended that all information on oldpway.info is free of copyright,
either because it is sufficiently old that copyright has expired,
or because the copyright owners have waived the right to copyright on this information.
If any material on oldpway has copyright restrictions, this is noted with the information.
Some material on oldpway (including unpublished railway company reports and drawings)
will remain in copyright until 31 Dec 2039, but is now public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence version 3.0 (OGL v3.0).
This is because copyrights owned by pre-grouping railway companies passed through successive railway companies to British Railways Board (Residuary) Ltd.,
and are now assigned to the Crown.
Such material is used on the oldpway website within the terms and conditions of OGL v3.0 and can be used by anyone else within the terms and conditions of OGL v3.0.
OGL v3.0 is on-line on the National Archives website at
with a copy of OGL v3.0 on oldpway at
Q. Can I copy, print, use and pass on information from oldpway.info?
Yes, you can.
Ernest Bate wants to increase the availability of all this information and encourage use of it.
If you do use or publish any of this information,
please mention that oldpway.info is the source.
If you wish to use any of this information for commercial gain, please
to discuss this.
Some items may only be free of copyright if used for non-commercial purposes.
Q. Help! It's broken, wrong or missing. What can I do?
If you find mistakes on oldpway,
including wrong or broken links,
wrong information or missing pages, please
Please report the problem, so Ernest Bate can try to put it right.
Q. How can I provide more information to add to oldpway.info?
Ernest Bate welcomes additional information to put on oldpway
and also suggestions for improvements.
to discuss the information or suggestions.
Please note that oldpway has a lot of information that has not yet been put on the website due to lack of time.
Q. Who is Ernest Bate?
I am a railway enthusiast with a passion for old permanent way.
I have created and own www.oldpway.info.
In the 1970s I worked in the British Railways Eastern Region Civil Engineer’s Department.
Since then I have collected a lot of information about permanent way (such as books, drawings and papers)
and a lot of permanent way railwayana (mostly railchairs).
I intend to put all this information online on oldpway.info.
Q. Why isn't oldpway a book?
There are several reasons, including:
- It is too big. oldpway is like a library not a single book.
- Most people only want a small part of the information that is on oldpway, so they would not buy a book like this about old permanent way.
- A website is easier to produce and extend than a book.
- This website is full of useful links. It is hard to achieve this in a book.
- This website includes many drawings which are large format and could not be printed easily in a book.
Q. Why isn't oldpway colourful with distinctive backgrounds and a logo?
This is information, not entertainment!
It is designed to be easy to read on any computer and easy to print out.