What we do


From its inception in the early 1970’s, the Circle’s aim has been to produce high-quality railway-themed photographs that didn’t conform to the more usual front three-quarter views which were, and often still are, the mainstay of railway photography. Achieving that “Phoenix” image may often involve crouching behind holidaymakers luggage, squatting in a puddle or waiting for that tiny gap in the clouds to bathe a scene in wonderful golden light and, all the time, hoping that a train appears at the right time. 

Holidaymakers’ luggage is neatly laid out on the up platform at Bangor station, as 25152 waits time with a train of empty parcels stock, 

August 1983, by Wyn Hobson.

With membership spread over several countries, the online, members-only Critique Galleries bring members together in a virtual environment to appraise one another’s work. The online dimension supplements the long-established Print Boxes, which have stood the test of time in the digital age. In addition to this, the Circle produces a calendar each year, made up of a selection of the best images produced by members during the year. Various exhibitions have been held over the years, displaying members’ work and helping to engage with the wider public.

Phoenix at Worcester Shrub Hill, capturing the new order, 

May 2018, by Terry Callaghan.

The main social event of the year is the Annual General Meeting, and members usually take advantage of the opportunity to get together beforehand and afterwards for a photography field-session. At the AGM, the winners of the Circle’s Photograph of the Year and Photographer of the Year competitions are announced. Occasional organised group visits, and workshops, sometimes hosted on-line via video link, complete the social side of the Circle.


Photograph of the Year for 2022 is displayed, right. Well done to Kim Fullbrook on his winning entry.

Kims’ entry depicted ballast being dropped on the new East – West route. A strong composition with locomotive 66571 catching sun on the nose as it emerges from the dust cloud.

Phoenix R.p.c.

Creative Railway Photography