logo and link to home page
logo and link to home page link to site navigation

Drawings - Help File

small screen

Drawings - Help File

Drawings - Help File

Drawings - Help File

A page from the web site of the Historical Model Railway Society.
Wed 24 May 2017


This page is intended to give help on the system used to catalogue our drawings and present this information on the web site.

The information is recorded, as far as possible, in a structured way using standardised formats. In principle the following information may be recorded for each item:

HMRS drawing number

This is the unique integer number given to the drawing when it is entered into the system. This number should be used to order a copy of the drawing.

Drawing Number

This is the unique identity of a drawing and is the one that the drawing was originally given, this may be numerical or alphanumerical. Where another drawing is shown this will be included in the listing but a cross reference will be given in the notes to the original number. This is required for administration purposes.

A prefix and suffix may also be added in some circumstances for administration purposes.

The Revision details entered may either be a letter that follows the number or the letter shown in a revision box on the drawing. If no revision letter is shown then it will have to be assumed that it is the first issue of a drawing.


A drop down list provides the details  for the Railway Companies / Customers that are applicable to drawing. This will be used by the person searching the drawing list on the website - nothing needs to be typed in.

It should be noted that the list is normally of the official name of the company and sorted in strict alphabetical order. Thus if a company name is "The X to Y Railway PLC" it will be under "T" not "X".

Because cataloguing has usually been done on the basis of names as given on drawings, consistency is not 100%, especially for large organisations like British Railways where sometimes regions or divisions have been regarded as having separate identities and sometimes not. If what you are looking for does not appear associated with the company name you expect, think carefully whether someone may have classified it slightly differently to the way you would have done and try again!

The table of drawings actually stores a reference number rather than a name. The name, or abbreviation, can then be looked up from a separate table - this avoids errors caused by mis typing of names, use of slightly incorrect names, varying abbreviations etc.

When searching, the list of companies in the drop down list corresponds to those companies for which items have been catalogued. If you are looking for something from company X and this company does not appear, this does not mean that we have nothing from this company, only that nothing has yet been included in the web database.


This is normally only recorded for overseas companies.

Subject Type

The following repeats the drop down list for the key subject types that are used to describe the content of a drawing. In some cases a brief explanation is given to help in deciding the content of the information. It is intended to keep this list as short and comprehensive as possible but if a drawing(s) is found that requires a new 'Subject' being created then this can be done.

Note that the drop down list when searching includes only types that have been entered so far in the database - the absence of a type does not mean we have nothing of this type, only that this type has not been used yet in the database.

Subject Subdivision

The following identifies some of the 'Subject Subdivision' drop down list where a brief explanation is given to help in deciding the content of the information. It is intended to keep this list as short and comprehensive as possible but if a drawing(s) is found that requires a new 'Subject Subdivision' being created then this can be done. The cataloguing system permits any subdivision to be given with any subject type, even if this is not really logical (from the point of view of the researcher) and a subdivision is not always recorded. When searching it is thus advised to use the subdivisions with care - you are just as likely to hide as find items of interest.

Note that the drop down list when searching includes only subdivisions that have been entered so far in the database - the absence of a subdivision does not mean we have nothing of this nature, only that this category has not been used yet in the database

Drawing Type

There is no hard and fast system for describing the nature of a drawing but some indication is clearly of use to the modeller and researcher. The categories we have used are listed below, but please note that it is sometimes purely a personal opinion what category should be used and that cataloguer and researcher may disagree!

Original Company / Owner

As many Companies have been taken over by others this column provides any details that are on the drawing that identifies it back to its original owner.


This is generally the title of the drawing but may include any other information on the drawing that has not already been entered into a previous column.

When searching using the description box, items will be returned where the whole string entered matches exactly part of the description. Wild characters cannot be used. Entering "10T" as the search term will not find a description containing "10 Ton" but will find "10Ton".

Source / Collection

The name of the organisation / person where the drawings were received from. The web database actually stores an identification number rather than a name.

Source Identity 

Details of where the drawing was originally stored. With the Metro Cammell drawings these were in numbered rolls wrapped in brown paper. 

Date of drawing

The date is  entered in the format yyyy-mm-dd e.g. 1902-03-15, this may be in a different format to that shown on the drawing. If either or both the day and month are missing then 00 should be entered in both cases. If the drawing is at its first issue then the date entered is where possible the drawn date. If the drawing has been revised then the date entered is the date when the latest revision was drawn. 


Information entered here is to help further identification, for example where a drawing has two numbers the original one is entered with all its information and the second one is entered but the cross reference to the original number is shown in this column. Details of scale(s) on the drawing is entered here. Comments may also be made on the quality of the drawing.

Order No 

Particularly with the Metro Cammell drawings, order numbers are shown on the drawing, these are shown in this column with the lowest number first and separated with a comma, this will enable a list to be produced of all drawings used on a particular vehicle or project. 

MSC Storage Location 

This will be the alpha/numerical identity used to identify where the drawing is stored within the MSC. 

Where an item has been catalogued but no storage location is given it is probable that it was included in an imported list of items but that the drawing itself has not yet been checked. In such cases the drawing will not be shown as available for copying. If you notice such an item and are really interested, please volunteer to help with the cataloguing and storing of the drawings - there are tens of thousands to do!