Founded in 1973 we are a volunteer run friendly thriving Society and our membership is now over 1500 members. We exist to provide information to members through our full colour A5 size magazine TRACKS (see below or here). We also produce a series of comprehensive market leading quality spotting books, some of which are unique to ICRS, sundries and this website. The books are continually improved year on year with additional information and new titles. We also organise the several members only visits to railway facilities and attend Open Days and Preservation Galas with our sales stand. All this for a very reasonable Membership fee (see Join Us). However it traditionally only just covered the printing of TRACKS, with book sale subsidising admin costs. So because of the economic turmoil and global markets we briefly had to increase the fee to £25 from the start of November 2022. This amongst other factors and with printing and postage costs likely to rise in 2023 led to a radical rethink of our membership structure and TRACKS production, which was to move to pdf only for all members from 2024. The new structure was phased in over 2023 which for new members meant a halving of the then current fee to £12 with TRACKS delivered as a pdf only. Though existing members were still able to receive a printed mag the new pdf only lower rate was also offered on renewal throughout the year. For the full background and reasoning behind the changes, read the in depth report in the Jan 2023 issue of TRACKS.
TRACKS was a monthly magazine for 43 years only occassionally getting above 24 pages with only a few photos per issue so was relatively 'easy' to produce, but from 2007 pages steadily increased with photos much more prominent so that by 2008 they had increased ten fold. On moving to 64 pages in 2015 the number of photos per issue was averaging nearly 200 and by the end of 2016 we averaged just over 3 photos per page, a figure not since surpassed. The monthly deadlines had by then became too onerous. So during 2017 & 2018 we tried experimenting with bi-monthly production , which saw the pages increase further to 80 supported by a new 32 page quarterly supplement TRACKS extra, giving 10 issues per annum. However this became very confusing and still difficult to manage with the amount of topical news to fit in so monthly production started again from Sep 2018 with 11 issues produced in 2019 between Feb and Dec of either 64 (6) or 80 (5) pages. The same format was initially followed in 2020 but with a change in printer from the July issue all issues moved to 80 pages giving a massive 880 pages of content and approx 2500 photos per annum. From 2023 a full 12 monthly issues has again be offered so a minimum of 960 pages. But with the chaos and stress of recent times, price rises and having changed to our fifth printer since June 2020 a radical rethink was needed, as stated above, with TRACKS to become digital only from Jan 2024. This will allow a more flexible production of TRACKS with improvements and allow an increase in the number of pages above 96, so consequently more articles and photos offered per annum from Jan 2024. As a foretaste of what's to come our 600th issue in Aug 2023 was produced as 96p, the largest ever society mag, as have the Sep & Oct issues which means the annual page count for 2023 will be over 1000 for the first time.
Since 2007, TRACKS has built up into quite a library of information, articles and especially photos. Information on the history of the Society and TRACKS, useful for new members, can be found in the following articles: ICRS Story Jan 2013 & Feb 2013, TRACKS Story Aug 2014
You can move around our website by clicking on the menu buttons above or on any of the underlined words / phrases which will re-direct you to other pages or to relevant documents to download. External websites and downloadable documents open up in a separate window. Please remember to refresh your cache each visit to get the latest info and forms as we regularly update the website.
In our full colour 80 page A5 magazine TRACKS we cover the very many varied topical aspects of the current vibrant railway scene illustrated with over 200 photos through regular features: Eastleigh Works Report, Stock Changes, Freight Matters, Traffic & Traction News, Preservation News / Galas, Light Rail & Metro News, Infrastructure News, Out & About (member sightings), Signal Box Survey and Railway Globetrotters (reports of trips from around the world). Many varied additional articles feature items of current / withdrawn stock, infrastructure, spotting locations and members days out.
The main benefits of membership include the following:
ICRS currently publishes 9 (2 versions of Pocket Book) well respected quality enthusiasts spotting books under the banner of the UK Rail Series, which are revised and released either:
Annually: UK Pocket Book (spine), UK Pocket Book (wire bound),
UK Combine Vols 1 & 2, UK Locos
or As Required: Irish Rlys, UK Name Directory, Ultimate Sighting File Vol.1 - Mainline Diesel Locos, Ultimate Sighting File Vol.2 - Shunters, Mainline Electric and Prototype Locos
NEW: a series of pictorial albums on Locos in the Pre-Privatisation Era
plus a NEW (started Feb 2021) Members Only Facebook page (please give Membership Number to join)
We have our own ICRS Flickr website established in April 2011 featuring photos from members, some of which have also appeared in TRACKS. To see the individual Flickr sites of members go to Flickr Sites. Click on the Photos link for details of photo submission to TRACKS and Flickr.
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which if you do not have you can download here for free by clicking on the icon below.
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