The SNCF Society


The Society & Membership

Background to the Society

The Society was formed in 1976 to cater for the interests of British enthusiasts of French railways. The small initial membership rapidly expanded to take in enthusiasts from other countries - mainly English-speakers, but not exclusively so. The Society's title was chosen as the most convenient way of expressing its aims, but our interests are not confined to the French national railway network as it has existed since 1938. Individual members are knowledgeable about the former separate main-line companies, narrow-gauge and secondary railways, the Wagons-Lits organisation, and so on. We now number approaching 600 members, several of whom are known nationally through their writings in the enthusiast and model press.

From time to time individual members host "at homes"; larger regionally-organised meetings take place in convenient venues, once or twice a year. They usually include working model layouts, static displays, films or slides, trade stands and the Society bring-and-buy stall together, of course, with much good-humoured and informative chat. The Society is represented at many model railway shows with members layouts and our sales stand. A day trip is organised annually from London or Kent to a  location of interest in Paris or Northern France

The Society was the first of the UK continental railway societies to be formed and over the intervening years has built up a considerable library of books, railway journals and other material. We also have a wide number of contacts in most areas of interest. The Society is affiliated to The Model Railway Club, The Chiltern Model Railway Association, TGV 086 and is closely associated with the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme in Picardie and the AJECTA museum in Longueville. Through these and other contacts we can help members obtain books and modelling products, or just information not normally available in Great Britain.

Certain suppliers of books and models in Great Britain and France have kindly offered discounts to our members: you will receive details when you join.


The Society Library stocks current and back issues of the principal French railway periodicals and a comprehensive collection of books, making it probably the most extensive library of French railway material outside of France. All of these items are available on free loan to members. A detailed list is provided in the members section. We also have an expanding archive of photographs and documents.


Our principal means of circulating information is the quarterly Journal, which is widely regarded as one of the best railway society journals in the UK. Each issue contains up to 50 pages of practical and lively articles on the present-day French railway scene, topical news, historical matters, modelling tips, travel hints, product and book reviews, and a useful summary of contents of the French railway magazines. It is well illustrated with photographs, scale drawings and track plans. Through the popular sales and wants column, many members claim easily to recoup their annual subscription. To provide a flavour of the Journal an article from each of the recent editions is published below: [to be added]


Whatever your interest in the railways of France, it makes sense to join the SNCF Society. The enthusiasts who run it will do their best to see that you get maximum benefit from your subscription. Although we have no formal constitution the Society has a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor and other officers who have been co-opted to these positions by their contribution to the Society and willingness to develop it for the future. Through our contacts, certain suppliers of books and models in Great Britain and France have kindly offered discounts to our members: you will receive details when you join.

The subscription runs from January 1st. New members receive issues of the Journal beginning with that for March of the current year. If you join after September, your subscription will run through to the end of the following year. There is a reduced rate of JUNIOR membership for those under 18.


Please see membership form (available by link below) for current membership rates

To join the Society, print out the form and send or email it to:

Michael Bunn
93 Deakin Leas


For enquiries relating to the website links and forms please contact

Webmaster: Peter Lovell via

For other enquiries please contact :-

Secretary: Michael Bunn, 93 Deakin Leas, Tonbridge TN9 2JT.

Telephone: 01732 353700. E-mail: