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Title and Description



Artefact type

Transport mode

Geographical searches

Geographical searches are based on current countries as defined by the International Standards Organisation:

  • Former countries that have broken up (e.g. USSR, Czechoslovakia, Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia) should be queried using one of the successor countries
  • Countries that exist but have lost or gained significant territory (e.g. Germany, Poland, Byelorus) can be queried using either the previous or current country
  • International timetables and continent-wide maps are found by querying the continents, not the constituent countries
  • National timetables with international sections are not linked to the other countries they may refer to
  • Maps covering multiple countries will only be selected for those that are "in-focus" i.e. countries on the periphery of the map will be included if they are presented substantially complete and in similar detail to the core countries.

Dates and accuracy

Dating of maps is not always straightforward, and users should share with us any anomalies in the dates being presented. Timetable World generally relies on the date recorded by a cataloguer from the primary archive but will override them – as we have already done – where users have argued persuasively for a different date.

It is rare for a map to be wholly consistent internally. The process of gathering data and preparing (or updating) printing plates was slow, and consequently many maps were left undated. They also served multiple purposes. A “political” map would show cities, railways, shipping routes, telegraph lines and the like for context, but only one advertised as a “railway” map was likely to be up-to-date and accurate in an era of rapidly developing networks. Cartographers might try to pre-empt the data going stale by including proposed and under-construction lines – and then find that events caused delays or cancellation.

There is less ambiguity about timetable dates. But a printed timetable is a plan, not an actuality, and may have been superseded by events – think war, think Covid-19. Some timetables, such as Bradshaw’s, the Official Guide in North America, or Thomas Cook’s Continental Timetables, were derivative documents assembled from multiple primary sources, which gave scope for inaccuracies and latency to creep in.