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Rites Of Passage For A Model Railway - 25: Motive Power Depots, Stabling, Feeding, Watering, Readying Steam Workhorses

Updated on August 7, 2017

The modeller's viewpoint... mirroring the past

Ayton Lane mpd (51A sub-shed) on the Thoraldby layout, looking down at the two-road shed entrance past the coaler. A pair of water cranes stand either side of the road adjacent to the ash-pit
Ayton Lane mpd (51A sub-shed) on the Thoraldby layout, looking down at the two-road shed entrance past the coaler. A pair of water cranes stand either side of the road adjacent to the ash-pit | Source
The view the other way, looking past the water tower shows a couple of wagons beside the ash-pit. Behind them is the coaler with the high-level loco coal wagon road
The view the other way, looking past the water tower shows a couple of wagons beside the ash-pit. Behind them is the coaler with the high-level loco coal wagon road | Source
A touch of local NER colour, (Hornby) Q6 63443 rests on the loco coaler road at Ayton Lane between duties
A touch of local NER colour, (Hornby) Q6 63443 rests on the loco coaler road at Ayton Lane between duties | Source
Belmont Road mpd belongs to Colin and Phil Snowdon (Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Double O Gauge Association (DOGA)
Belmont Road mpd belongs to Colin and Phil Snowdon (Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Double O Gauge Association (DOGA) | Source
Another atmospheric view of Belmont Road - Colin acquired the layout from a friend and made a few modifications before taking it out onto the exhibition circuit
Another atmospheric view of Belmont Road - Colin acquired the layout from a friend and made a few modifications before taking it out onto the exhibition circuit | Source
This is the 'Leaman Road' (sh/be 'Leeman') shed layout from the RMWeb site, based on York North in LNER days with teak stock in the background. A3 Pacific with GN tender under the coaler
This is the 'Leaman Road' (sh/be 'Leeman') shed layout from the RMWeb site, based on York North in LNER days with teak stock in the background. A3 Pacific with GN tender under the coaler | Source

Different regions, different approaches

'Stabling, feeding, watering...' expressions used in connection with workhorses. The steam engine took over from the horse in almost all aspects of railway operation, and in many respects the needs of the locomotives reflected those of their four-legged predecessors. They needed shelter - to keep their shiny coats from being grimed, or from the rain, snow and ice - and they needed to be fed and watered. Coal replaced the hay and oats. The common factor was the need for water. Instead of water troughs water cranes were laid on, and much later on there were also water troughs between the rails for express locomotive scoops. Let's look at the facilities that were available around the country, and how they might be represented in model form:

In some aspects all the regions used the same expressions for different shed types. Early on you had the 'roundhouse', engine stabling around a central turntable with one 'road' that led out. A newer development was the 'northlight' shed, long with parallel roads with a factory-type roof that allowed in direct light from the north only, thus avoiding strong light and dark shadows - good for fitters and repair men to work in. There were also straight sheds with apex rooves, end doors to shut out the cold winds in the far north, north-east and east where prevailing winds came in from the North Sea. After WWII many sheds in the industrial north were roofless shells and needed replacing. One such replacement came in the shape of a roundhouse at Thornaby near Middlesbrough, opened in 1958, (thirteen years after WWII ended, and not before time as Middlesbrough fitters and other repair men almost had to resort to frogmen's outfits to work under the locomotives!)

The images above show the different treatment given to the same theme. Whereas Belmont Road features a turntable, even in this crowded layout, at Ayton Lane we have to assume locomotives turn on a nearby 'triangle'. ('Y' Junctions would be where tender locomotives were brought about for return traffic).

Locomotive coaling at Belmont Road is a labour-intensive affair, with parallel roads for loco coal wagons and locos being coaled. The coaler at Ayton Lane would once have been a roofed NER coaling stage with tubs that unloaded down chutes into tenders and bunkers. We can assume that in their wisdom Darlington's managers decided to make coaling easier after WWII. The shed has suffered bomb damage (see the roof and hole in the front wall where the shed clock would have been inset). At both there are several roads for standing locomotives and associated rolling stock. At Ayton Lane there is parking for 'cripples', engineers'/breakdown train, sand wagons and a Sentinel shunter to move shed stock. A few wagons, an old 'birdcage' brake van and conversions never seem to move (up on the higher level) beyond the loco coal wagon standage.

As a modeller you put as much into your creation as you see fit, although many of us never seem to see them as completely finished. I have a number of things I want to do, again it's a shortage of 'round to-its' that confounds intentions.

Watch out for Belmont Road on the exhibition circuit. Look in on the Double O Gauge Association (DOGA) web-site below.

Study plans before making tracks to decide your ideal layout

Here's a diagram for Weymouth mpd (Weymouth in Dorset was part of the London & South Western Railway network, reached by trains from mid-19th Century out of London Waterloo Stn)
Here's a diagram for Weymouth mpd (Weymouth in Dorset was part of the London & South Western Railway network, reached by trains from mid-19th Century out of London Waterloo Stn) | Source
Walton-on-the-Hill mpd near Aintree was used on race days only
Walton-on-the-Hill mpd near Aintree was used on race days only | Source
This is Walton-on-the-Hill with a small number of locomotives standing out in the open - the loco on the right is an LNER/BR Class B1  4-6-0 in early BR livery, that in the doorway looks like LNER/BR Class K3 2-6-0 (possibly from Sheffield area)
This is Walton-on-the-Hill with a small number of locomotives standing out in the open - the loco on the right is an LNER/BR Class B1 4-6-0 in early BR livery, that in the doorway looks like LNER/BR Class K3 2-6-0 (possibly from Sheffield area) | Source
Widnes mpd shed plan - the shed was situated between the Midland and London & North Western Railway companies' lines in Cheshire
Widnes mpd shed plan - the shed was situated between the Midland and London & North Western Railway companies' lines in Cheshire | Source
Tweedmouth Station and mpd in North Eastern Railway days (1898 map). In BR days the shed (52D) was still in use, albeit modified in intervening years, until June 1966 when the last two engines BR Class 3MT 77002/4 were transferred south to Stourton
Tweedmouth Station and mpd in North Eastern Railway days (1898 map). In BR days the shed (52D) was still in use, albeit modified in intervening years, until June 1966 when the last two engines BR Class 3MT 77002/4 were transferred south to Stourton
Tweedmouth shed displays its NER credentials in 1936 (LNER days) with a handsome NER Class R (LNER D20) 4-4-0 centre stage by one of the watering cranes; on the right are three more ex-NER tender classes 'looking' away from the camera
Tweedmouth shed displays its NER credentials in 1936 (LNER days) with a handsome NER Class R (LNER D20) 4-4-0 centre stage by one of the watering cranes; on the right are three more ex-NER tender classes 'looking' away from the camera

For research purposes...

A study of plans and drawings, architectural and trackwork, pays dividends. if you intend to model a real location. For freelance layouts regional variations are important if you want to recreate the feeling of a particular region. You can find illustrations and diagrams in books and specialist online sources.

Visit model railway exhibitions. Additionally many dealers have old magazines or books at knockdown prices. You might well strike modeller's gold.. A good riffle through their boxes might result in the odd nugget or two. If you see the Wild Swan stand he'll have back issues of the MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL or one of the paperback books that gives hints on modelling shed areas etc. HORNBY MAGAZINE and BRITISH RAILWAY MODELLING frequently cover the theme, as does the Peco magazine RAILWAY MODELLER. Trawl through the small ads and find gems there, such as white metal figures you can paint, detailing such as water cranes, hosepipe terminals, welder's cylinders and trolleys, fitter's barrows. Remember Poppy's products from the Thoraldby page? There are balsa wood products for coal stages and barrow crossings. Langley Miniature Models do wheelbarrows that the shed workforce would use for emptying the ash pits. Other companies such as Scale Link do etched brass mesh that would cover the ashpits in larger sheds (to stop people falling in, ashpits have been known to flood and night workers have drowned in them, especially in wartime conditions with the 'Blackout')..

Look in on the RMWeb site and see what you can find there for inspiration or background material. Books are a good source of information, if you can find colour images of what you hope to model so much the better, they give a truer picture where black & white images leave you guessing. Find research material for your region through society journals. There is a series of regional information on sheds titled 'B R STEAM MOTIVE POWER DEPOTS' by different authors. From time to time these are updated, so keep a look-out for new editions.

Keep your eyes peeled, ask around at exhibitions. Often small stalls carry the best stock for detailing, with white metal and lost wax brass castings, brass etches, specialist figures and so forth. Enjoy the hunt!.

A look around the former LNER system

Sheffield Darnall shed was BR Eastern Region (formerly Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Rly then Great Central Rly) until transfer in 1956 to Midland Region
Sheffield Darnall shed was BR Eastern Region (formerly Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Rly then Great Central Rly) until transfer in 1956 to Midland Region | Source
50A York (North), sited on the right of Leeman Road towards Clifton, York is the location of the National Railway Museum
50A York (North), sited on the right of Leeman Road towards Clifton, York is the location of the National Railway Museum | Source
67639, one of Middlesbrough's Class V1  2-6-2 tank locos rests between turns - behind is LMS Ivatt designed Class 4MT 2-6-0 'Flying Pig' visiting from 51A Darlington; when Middlesbrough closed 1958, locos went to 51L Thornaby 'down the road'.
67639, one of Middlesbrough's Class V1 2-6-2 tank locos rests between turns - behind is LMS Ivatt designed Class 4MT 2-6-0 'Flying Pig' visiting from 51A Darlington; when Middlesbrough closed 1958, locos went to 51L Thornaby 'down the road'. | Source
Robert Riddles' War Department (WD) 2-8-0 90111 of Frodingham, Eastern Region rests at Grantham's shed between turns. Many of these engines saw service abroad in post-WWII years before returning and purchase by the railway companies.
Robert Riddles' War Department (WD) 2-8-0 90111 of Frodingham, Eastern Region rests at Grantham's shed between turns. Many of these engines saw service abroad in post-WWII years before returning and purchase by the railway companies. | Source
North-eastward out of London was Hitchin's small mpd - Her days numbered, former GER Class J15 0-6-0 designed by T W Worsdell before he joined the NER poses on one of the back roads in 1959
North-eastward out of London was Hitchin's small mpd - Her days numbered, former GER Class J15 0-6-0 designed by T W Worsdell before he joined the NER poses on one of the back roads in 1959 | Source
Looking along the more modern Ipswich straight shed (former GER area) towards the coaler in 1958. LNER Gresley-designed Class B17 'Sandringham' class to the left
Looking along the more modern Ipswich straight shed (former GER area) towards the coaler in 1958. LNER Gresley-designed Class B17 'Sandringham' class to the left | Source

Specialist Interest

As you will have gathered by now, my own area of Teesside and North Yorkshire is within the North Eastern Region of British Railways, formerly the London & North Eastern. Before that the North Eastern Railway was established and grew to be one of the richest railway companies of the age.

Literature is available through Amazon, E-Bay and specialist groups such as the North Eastern Railway Association (NERA) or the Historical Model Railway Society (HMRS) who sometimes bring out books in conjunction. There are books on North Eastern Railway architecture and locomotives that feature sheds and 'house styles' from early days (1854, amalgamation of the Leeds Northern, York Newcastle & Berwick and York & North Midland Railways, with the addition in 1863 of the Stockton & Darlington railway system that linked the South Durham coalfield and North Yorkshire ironstone mining districts of East Cleveland to Teesside's burgeoning steel industry) to the modern day via intermediate stages.

I'll add a book list below for those interested in the LNER/BR North Eastern. There is no shortage of sources, and a variety of images is available.

Paul Bolger's updated overview of British Railways North Eastern motive power depots
Paul Bolger's updated overview of British Railways North Eastern motive power depots | Source

Shed by shed, from York (50A) to Consett (54D) around the North Eastern Region of British Railways, black & white images, shed plans and stages of stock movement (1950, 1959, 1965), some sheds closed in the late 1950s, some - like York - survived with changes and reduction in numbers - to the end of steam in the North East of England in September, 1967. The last sheds to close were Sunderland and Hartlepool due to movements of coal from pit to port.

Around the regions...

Carnforth, Lancashire in pre-Nationalisation days  with 5690 'Leander' in LMS livery - Carnforth now plays host to preserved locomotives across the country
Carnforth, Lancashire in pre-Nationalisation days with 5690 'Leander' in LMS livery - Carnforth now plays host to preserved locomotives across the country | Source
LMS area again, this time at the much smaller former Midland Railway Buxton mpd (8D) in Derbyshire with several locomotives poking out of the early 'northlight' shed.
LMS area again, this time at the much smaller former Midland Railway Buxton mpd (8D) in Derbyshire with several locomotives poking out of the early 'northlight' shed. | Source
Southern region this time, Cowans Sheldon vacuum operating turntable controls at Stewarts Lane
Southern region this time, Cowans Sheldon vacuum operating turntable controls at Stewarts Lane | Source
Western this time, at Oxford mpd with ex-GWR classes in evidence outside the dilapidated, although still standing shed. Locomotives stand over ash-pits in this view
Western this time, at Oxford mpd with ex-GWR classes in evidence outside the dilapidated, although still standing shed. Locomotives stand over ash-pits in this view | Source
In the south-west, Exeter St David's shed in south Devon, some agricultural produce to be sent up to town (London), largely passenger and commercial traffic
In the south-west, Exeter St David's shed in south Devon, some agricultural produce to be sent up to town (London), largely passenger and commercial traffic | Source
Taunton, mid-Somerset had a GWR shed, code 83B. Here, looking spick and span, a GW 43XX tender loco class 2-6-0 rests under the smoke extractor
Taunton, mid-Somerset had a GWR shed, code 83B. Here, looking spick and span, a GW 43XX tender loco class 2-6-0 rests under the smoke extractor | Source
Last day at Nine Elms shed, south of the Thames on the way out from Waterloo Station
Last day at Nine Elms shed, south of the Thames on the way out from Waterloo Station | Source
An interior view by the turntable in Saltley's ex-LMS mpd, Warwickshire
An interior view by the turntable in Saltley's ex-LMS mpd, Warwickshire | Source

Industry often called for particular locomotive classes to be allocated...

You will be aware that coal and other mineral extraction was widespread around England, Wales and Scotland. North of the Border, for example were two large, thriving railway companies, the North British and the Caledonian Railways, and two smaller networks in the Highland Railway and the Great North of Scotland. The North British and Great North of Scotland companies were drawn in 1923 into the London & North Eastern (aka 'London & Nearly Everywhere) Railway, the other two into the London, Midland & Scottish Railway(LMSR) network. The North British served the Central Scottish coal mines and industry, the Caledonian and North British shared Clydeside's waxing ship-building and steel industries centred on Glasgow.

A largely agricultural economy was maintained in the West Country, Herefordshire and East Anglia, with seasonal traffic fluctuations. The West Country was served by three companies until Grouping, the London & South Western (LSWR) along the north of Devon and Somerset, and the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) north-to-south between Bath and Bournemouth, as well as the Great Western that crossed the LSWR route and ran along the south coast of Devon and Cornwall. The Great Eastern Railway (GER) centred on Stratford, East London, shared its commuter traffic with the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway (owned by the Midland Railway and nicknamed the 'Misery Railway' for its dismal services along the north bank of the Thames. Its biggest customers were the docks at Tilbury and Ford Motors at Dagenham. The Great Eastern's traffic outside the London area was mainly agricultural, although it had high density holiday traffic to Cromer and Great Yarmouth in the summer months (June-September). The south coast shared many similarities, with holiday traffic on several distinct networks serving holidaymakers to Bournemouth, Brighton, Hastings and Margate, and ferry links to the Continent for travellers from Dover and Folkestone. Three companies were absorbed into the Southern Railway in 1923, the Kent & East Sussex Railway (K&ESR), London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and London & South Western Railway (L&SWR).

Manufacturing industry was predominant in the Midlands, with ironstone and coal mining served by the London & North Western from Euston, the Great Northern from Kings Cross and Great Central around the north and south Midlands (Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield with steel-making at Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire and Sheffield). The West Midlands' industries, mining and heavy industry, were served by the London & North Western (LNWR). Around Derby, Leicester and Nottingham the Midland Railway (MR) served those industries closer to its own network. After Grouping the LNWR and MR were absorbed by the LMSR, the Great Central by the LNER, as was the GER and M&GNJR. The LT&SR came under the auspices of the LMS.

Locomotive stabling in these areas was therefore as necessary as it was in the North East. The 'Big Four' of 1923 inherited different locomotive works, different practices, vastly different problems in some cases. With the problems came divers fleets of lomotives that varied greatly, many not surviving the 1930s. When again the 'Big Four' became the 'One and Only' in 1948 more pruning was in store. Standardisation was the order of the day, fleets were added to by British Railways Standard Classes in different wheel arrangements - ranging from the Class 2 2-6-0 and 2-6-2T nicknamed 'Mickey Mouse' and based on the Ivatt designs of the 1940s to the large 9F 2-10-0, the last of which was 'Evening Star' - and power classifications. The 1956 changes resulted in another shake-up with the former GCR going to Midland Region and the former S&DJR going to the Western Region. Old company loyalties resulted in both networks suffering from disrupted services and subsequent line closures. However the ex-Midland area inherited by British Railways North Eastern Region resulted in a wider distribution of ex-LMS locomotives and brake vans replacing clapped-out ex-NER and LNER veterans. Services were only threatened by British Transport Commission (government) closures before and after Dr Richard Beeching was let loose on the whole B R network by Transport Minister Ernest 'Ernie' Marples (Conservative) in the mid-1960s. Some sections of the system not earmarked for closure by Dr Beeching were shut down by Barbara Castle of the Wilson (Labour) government that followed MacMillan's (the short-lived Conservative Alec Douglas Hume government had little effect on anything)..

Additionally there is the siting of sheds to be considered. Sometimes they seemed to be after-thoughts, set in or by junctions, sometimes they were squeezed behind stations or between stations and goods depots. Sometimes they were generously equipped with tower coalers, 'cenotaphs', good lighting for safety considerations at sheds in prime locations such as Top Shed at Kings Cross (Great Northern Railway or GNR), Doncaster (also GNR), Nine Elms (near Waterloo Station, (LSWR, Southern Railway) or St Margarets (Edinburgh, NBR). Large, modern 'Northlight' sheds were built after WWI that allowed daylight into the premises without flooding work areas with dark shadow where the sun did not reach directly. In the 1930s new sheds were constructed on all railways, but then the old crowded city premises still predominated, after WWII often also roofless and open to the elements, inspection pits flooded where fitters often had to work up to their waists in ice cold water during the winter. It was bad enough in the summertime. Maintenance workers often put up with stark conditions, although in the post-war years there was a shortage of manpower and a 'down tools' was always in the air.

Let's not forget the humble cleaners...

Loco cleaners pose on an engine at Caerphilly, Wales
Loco cleaners pose on an engine at Caerphilly, Wales | Source
One of the cleaning staff at a Midland Region shed  'rejuvenates' a locomotive nameplate with a lick of paint
One of the cleaning staff at a Midland Region shed 'rejuvenates' a locomotive nameplate with a lick of paint | Source
Cleaners at March shed (Eastern Region) at work in 1960
Cleaners at March shed (Eastern Region) at work in 1960 | Source
St Margaret's shed, Edinburgh with wartime (WWII) cleaners hard at work - most of the male staff had either volunteered for or were called up on military service. The engine is one of the Scottish LNER Class K2
St Margaret's shed, Edinburgh with wartime (WWII) cleaners hard at work - most of the male staff had either volunteered for or were called up on military service. The engine is one of the Scottish LNER Class K2 | Source
In Scotland again: cleaners spruce up LNER Class P2 2-8-2 'Earl Marischal' for a service north of the border (the class didn't operate this side of the Border until rebuilt as Class A2/2 by Edward Thompson after WWII)
In Scotland again: cleaners spruce up LNER Class P2 2-8-2 'Earl Marischal' for a service north of the border (the class didn't operate this side of the Border until rebuilt as Class A2/2 by Edward Thompson after WWII) | Source

Scotland and Wales

Northern Scotland was out of the way as far as railway systems went. Here's a view of one of the outlying sheds with locomotives lined up and ready for duty
Northern Scotland was out of the way as far as railway systems went. Here's a view of one of the outlying sheds with locomotives lined up and ready for duty | Source
Whilst not actually in Scotland, this is a Highland Railway locomotive 'Gordon Highlander' at Carlisle Kingmoor shed
Whilst not actually in Scotland, this is a Highland Railway locomotive 'Gordon Highlander' at Carlisle Kingmoor shed | Source
Based on Glasgow & South-Western Railway Dumfries shed, this is Annan Road, a shed on East Kilbride Model Railway Club's layout of that name
Based on Glasgow & South-Western Railway Dumfries shed, this is Annan Road, a shed on East Kilbride Model Railway Club's layout of that name | Source
This is Dowlais Cae Harris, north of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, one of the industrial centres
This is Dowlais Cae Harris, north of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, one of the industrial centres | Source
Bangor mpd, North Wales. services to holiday resorts dominated traffic. Here's one of the passenger tank loco fleet, 41200 resting between shifts
Bangor mpd, North Wales. services to holiday resorts dominated traffic. Here's one of the passenger tank loco fleet, 41200 resting between shifts | Source

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And another layout, this time in 2mm scale

70K Coley Park shows various buildings in progress with track laid and rolling stock dispersed - ash-pits again (left) in front of shed entrance. Sand furnace (with chimney) below right
70K Coley Park shows various buildings in progress with track laid and rolling stock dispersed - ash-pits again (left) in front of shed entrance. Sand furnace (with chimney) below right | Source
For the unexpurgated British Railways shedbasher of yesteryear, Ian Allan's 1962 directory is the 'bible' of railway enthusiasts. An ideal gift for Dad/Grandad
For the unexpurgated British Railways shedbasher of yesteryear, Ian Allan's 1962 directory is the 'bible' of railway enthusiasts. An ideal gift for Dad/Grandad | Source

Book List [NER/LNER/BR(NE)] oriented:

FIRST IN THE WORLD, The Stockton & Darlington Railway, John Wall, Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-509-2729-1 - Takes you from the planning stages, the initial meeting at the George & Dragon on Yarm High Street in 1823 between the Peases, George Stephenson, Thomas Meynell and all. There was the inaugural run with George Stephenson at the controls of Locomotion on September 25th, 1825 and teething troubles. The S&DR was amalgamated with the North Eastern Railway in 1863, nine years after their own amalgamation;

NORTH EASTERN RECORD Volume 1*, Copiously illustrated with scale drawings, Features articles on general aspects of the NER and Hull & Barnsley Railway including motive power depots by several contributing members of the North Eastern Railway Association (NERA), published jointly by the Historical Model Railway Society (HMRS) and NERA, ISBN 0-902835-13-0 *;

A PORTRAIT OF THE NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY*, David & Claire Williamson and Michael Grocock,, a well documented general overview of the NER with lots of period photographs (colour-treated and b&w) as well as reproduction lithographs and etchings, drawings and maps. Invaluable as a reference source - publ North Eastern Railway Assoc., ISBN 978-1-873513-58-3

A HISTORY OF BRITISH RAILWAYS' NORTH EASTERN REGION*, Ed. John Teasdale, post-war to 1960s North Eastern Region official and contributors' own colour and b&w photographs, labels, maps and diagrams, tables, articles cover steam era to September, 1967 and dieselisation from the mid-late 1950s - publ John Teasdale, NERA, ISBN 9-780956-186706;

THE NORTH EASTERN REGION (Volume 6, British Railways In Colour), Alan Earnshaw and Kevin Derrick, Nostalgia Road Publications, ISBN 1-903016-34-7 - A tour around industrial, urban and rural locations in the North East of England in glorious grimy colour, grim, 'warts and all', a 'bible' for weathering enthusiasts;

NORTH EASTERN LOCOMOTIVE SHEDS, Ken Hoole, David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-5323-3 - A lucky find for me. I'd had a copy of this book signed by the author and loaned it out - never to see it again. Found this copy in a second-hand books box for £7. It's worth more than that. Ken Hoole was an authority on the North Eastern Railway (not to be confused with driver Bill Hoole, no relation) and this book is an overview of sheds south from Alnmouth to Selby with their allocations by class from 1923 to 1954, although not the actual loco numbers (see Paul Bolger's book below and link above for the updated edition. Worthwhile purchase if you can find a copy (published 1972);

B R STEAM MOTIVE POWER DEPOTS - N E R, Paul Bolger, published Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-1362-4 - Beginning at York (50A) in 1950, Paul takes you around the sheds in black and while pictures with track diagrams, locomotive classes and numbers with transfer dates and closures.

LOST LINES - NORTH EASTERN, Nigel Welbourn, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0=7110-2522-3 - A tour around branches closed before and after Beeching in black and white photographs and local diagrammatic maps. Station buildings, viaducts, bridges etc then and now. Some stations have fared worse than others, some have been preserved as private dwellings, industrial or commercial buildings

RAIL CENTRES - YORK, Ken Hoole, publ Booklaw Publications, ISBN 1-901945-12-X - Another of Ken Hoole's specialist works on the North Eastern Railway, LNER (NE) and North Eastern Region of British Railways that takes you from early days to when the Deltics took charge of express passenger workings at and around York, a look at the steam motive power depot at York North as well as the 'visitors' facilities at York South - furnished with diagrams, maps and black and white images;

BRITISH RAILWAYS ENGINE SHEDS, No1, Chris Hawkins, John Hooper, George Reeve, publ Irwell Press, ISBN 1-871608-00-7, sub-titled 'An LNER Inheritance', this thin volume looks at motive power sheds around the LNER system built before and after Grouping as well as in BR days, using black and white images with shed track layout diagrams;

THE LAST DAYS OF STEAM AROUND DARLINGTON, David Burdon, Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-7509-3158-2, a look at the Darlington mpd, locomotive works, stations and environs in the twilight of British Railways steam up to September, 1967 complete with area map and copious atmospheric black and white images never before published;

STEAM MOTIVE POWER CENTRES - 51A DARLINGTON, David Dunn, Book Law Publications, ISBN 9-781899-624966, Covers the same subjects and although one or two images from the above have found their way into this book, by and large the pictorial content is educational with bags of atmosphere.

ABC BRITISH RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVE SHED DIRECTORY Another of the Ian Allan ABC Guides to British Railway locomotives and their 'homes' (see Amazon.co.uk site for this and: BR Steam Locomotives Complete Allocation History, 1948-68).

* Asterisks denote books available through the North Eastern Railway Association only, Book Sales address: Mrs Janet Coulthard, 15 Woodside Drive, Darlington, DL3 8ES, County Durham, England. Well worth the purchase for thorough knowledge

With a view of handsome ex-NER Raven Class T2, (LNER/BR[NE] Class Q6] on the cover, you can't go wrong. 1948-1968 allocations for mainland UK sheds with atmosphere! (Smell the creosote, axle grease and hot oil after a hard shift on the metals!)
With a view of handsome ex-NER Raven Class T2, (LNER/BR[NE] Class Q6] on the cover, you can't go wrong. 1948-1968 allocations for mainland UK sheds with atmosphere! (Smell the creosote, axle grease and hot oil after a hard shift on the metals!) | Source

Signing off with a view on the ex-LMS, last to close its doors to steam

Lostock Hall mpd, Preston, Lancashire (North-west England) seen July, 1968 at the very end of British Railways steam working. The last was the Fifteen Guinea Special (£15 15/-), 11th August, 1968, eleven months after steam ended in the North East
Lostock Hall mpd, Preston, Lancashire (North-west England) seen July, 1968 at the very end of British Railways steam working. The last was the Fifteen Guinea Special (£15 15/-), 11th August, 1968, eleven months after steam ended in the North East | Source

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    • alancaster149 profile image
      Author

      Alan R Lancaster 18 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Blossom, the spiders are sitting tenants. There's laws about turfing out sitting tenants here in Blighty...

      Seriously, I've seen one of the racks in an old cottage (part of a museum of Yorkshire rural life). Clever, back then, weren't they (had to be with the lack of readies)!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 18 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      It's definitely drawn attention, all that research and those great photos. A really interesting hub - don't like the idea of those spiders, though. Further on that pulley idea: in England friends had one in the room with the furnace and when it was pulled up the underside had lines for hanging the washing to dry in the winter. Such a great idea!

    • alancaster149 profile image
      Author

      Alan R Lancaster 18 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Hello Nell, nice seeing you on these hallowed pages (almost like being in church, eh?).

      Mine's down in the cellar - des res for spiders! Still, they keep the flies out.

      I thought I'd finish this series with a 'grand gesture'. Looks like it's drawn some attention. Nice looking at old b&w pictures. Keep lucky.

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      Nell Rose 18 months ago from England

      My old next door neighbour had a huge railway in his loft! it was fascinating! interesting stuff alan, nell

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      Alan R Lancaster 18 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Did better than I ever did, Lawrence. A footplate ride? Where was this, before you migrated down under?

      At the end of July there's a 'shed-bash' (shed visit) at Locomotion, Shildon (the overspill of the National Railway Museum (NRM) near Darlington. There are several locomotives scheduled to be there that belong to the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG) that I'm a member of so it'll be a nice getaway. It'll be even better to get to the permanent Head of Steam exhibition based at North Road station, Darlington (the second Darlington station on the Stockton & Darlington Railway) on the same day. At weekends not only the station museum but the joint NELPG/A1 Locomotive Association workshop is open to the public. The latter group is soon to embark on building another locomotive, a Gresley designed P2 2-8-2. These were longer than the Pacifics (4-6-2) by one pair of driving or coupled wheels.

      A visit in the same week to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway will be the icing on the cake.

      Although we had a Co-op coal yard behind us at Eston (near Middlesbrough) it was behind wire and access was restricted to the workforce. The engines that brought the wagons in was the same class if not the same vehicle, ex-NER P2 0-6-0 tender locomotive (not to be confused with LNER P2), which became LNER/BR J26. We used to put pennies on the rails and retrieve them after they'd been flattened, and hot after loco, tender and wagons had rolled over!

      That's all from me for now (maybe that's enough).

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      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I'm just about old enough to remember the old steam trains. When I was growing up my Dad was a Coal merchant and the communual 'yard' for all the merchants in town was down by the railway sidings.

      We used to go in there (Dad had his own yard seperate) whenever we needed special stuff for our customers and when I was really young you'd see the old Steam trains shunting the freight around, I must have been about five at the time and remember getting a ride in the engine one time. This hub brought back some good memories.

      Lawrence

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      Author

      Alan R Lancaster 18 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Blossom, Bill, there are a few bits to add to this page yet within the next day or so.

      How big was this layout on pulley's, Blossom? Mine's on a waist-high shelf system around three walls of the cellar. Problem with spiders, but then they keep out the flies. Just got to root out cobwebs here and there.

      Bill, if you build a shelf-system in the garden and put covers on it you can work around it when weather allows. A 'box' forme can be put together in a workshop and track laid on thin plastic foam in sections then linked up when complete (any cabling for continuous control - points/turnouts and signals - can be added under the top boards and linked together with wire connectors, where you screw in the wire ends between units). Hasta luego.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 18 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Wow! They are some lay-outs you show there and the real scenes are interesting, too. When my Grandpa migrated to Australia he found work in the railways, firstly with his trade as a carpenter, and later when he'd done a course in architecture, as a designer of new tracks. My late husband had a lay-out in my son's bedroom. It was quite big, but was on pulleys, so it could be raised up to near the ceiling by turning a boat's winch!

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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Fascinating as always, my friend.

      I've always had this silly idea of an outdoor model railway, one that runs around our yard....probably impossible with the weather, but I think it would be such a great addition to the yard. :)