How to get Info for your Railway Photos

How to get Info for your Railway Photos

Back in the middle of the 1980’s I started my railway photography. One thing that I never did was to write down the date, location, time etc about any of the trains that I photographed.

Looking back at my photographs from back then, I feel annoyed about not knowing what service etc a train was working.

I took this photo back in the 1980’s. The only information I had (and still have) was that it is 47189 at Totnes station, that is it. I have no idea where it came from, where it was going and what time it was at the station.

Class 47 at Totnes in the 1980's

Thinking about it now, I could of asked a train spotter or photographer if they knew the details that I would have liked to know. At a station, I could even have looked at the timetable or asked a station staff.

Information Today

Today you can get a lot of information about the train photos you have taken on your day out. Most railway enthusiasts know how to get the information they want. I am writing this for those who have no idea where or how to get it.

Normal Trains

If it is a normal passenger service or a freight train then the best place to get the details is at Real Time Trains.

When you go to the website, fill in the ‘search menu’. Once you have pressed ‘search’ it will take you to your location and show you the trains that are running there. The information it shows is the ID, time, where it came from and where it is going.

Rail Tours

To find out about details of the train tours photos then take a look at the Railway Herald site.

On here you will find the following information. Date, Name of the tour, loco number, times, where it starts and goes to. It also shows a link to the Real Time Trains website so you can view where the train is at a certain time.

I got the following info from the Railway Herald website for the photo below. LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 No: 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ is working the 1Z28 16.50 Kingswear to Bristol Temple Meads ‘The Torbay Express’ on the 8th September 2019. When you save this type of info, just add to it where you took the photo.

LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 No: 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’


I highly recommend that you should always write down any information you can find to go with your train photos. Otherwise, in years to come, you would have regretted not doing it, just like me!

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2 thoughts on “How to get Info for your Railway Photos”

  1. With digital images, it is possible to store much information in the meta-date (EXIF or IPTC) of each image – with the right camera and settings, much can be done automatically, otherwise you will have to do it manually.

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