New Carriage Shed at Crewe Diesel Depot

We thought it was about time to take a look behind the scenes at our brand new carriage shed at Crewe Diesel Depot. Completed last year, this facility will allow us to store up to twenty two heritage railway carriages in sheltered conditions.

While 42,000sq ft might sound like a lot, we knew when we first moved in to Crewe Diesel Depot that we would not have enough sheltered storage. Despite having three roads dedicated to safely storing our rolling stock within the shed, this would provide space for only 12 carriages in total. Given that we need to store not only our heritage carriages but also locomotives awaiting overhaul and our growing diesel fleet, we decided early on that a new carriage shed would be needed.

The new carriage shed under construction.

We thought it was about time to take a look behind the scenes at our brand new carriage shed at Crewe Diesel Depot. Completed last year, this facility allows us to store up to twenty two heritage railway carriages in sheltered conditions. Whilst the historic Crewe Diesel Depot building provides some 42,000 sq ft of covered space we soon found that we would not have enough covered storage, given the occupation of a major part of the building by LNWR Heritage.

The undertaking of heavy maintenance to locomotives and an increasing number of heritage carriages means that, despite three roads dedicated to safely storing our rolling stock within the shed, this would provide space for only 12 carriages in total. Given that we need to store not only our heritage carriages but also locomotives awaiting overhaul and our growing diesel fleet, we decided early on that a new carriage shed would be needed.

Shed construction

 

In 2016 groundwork on the site commenced. This was made more difficult by the need to remove contaminated soil (a legacy of the historic use of the sidings as a major diesel locomotive refuelling point) and the need to provide water attenuation holding tanks beneath floor level. Each of the two roads within the carriage shed has a 30m long undertrack inspection pit to facilitate routine maintenance.

Assembly progressed quickly once groundworks were complete.

Development and construction was project managed throughout by Peter Adds, a Chartered Surveyor with many years experience of railway industry property; a Trustee of the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust and a director of Locomotive Storage Limited which manages our Crewe site. Peter – ably assisted by a small dedicated team – has been overseeing developments at Crewe Diesel Depot since 2014. This has included not only the new carriage shed, but the complete refurbishment of the existing depot facilities.

Safe storage

 

Once the initial ground works were complete construction was able to continue apace. The shed was a relatively simple structure to assemble, with the basic framework pre-fabricated before being positioned on site. Cladding and roofing was then added, providing much needed protection from the elements for our carriages.

By the middle of 2017 some of our carriages were able to move in, and we are pleased to say the shed is now fully operational. With two roads, each long enough to hold eleven 64ft Mk1 carriages, we now have sufficient space to protect most of our operational vehicles for many years to come.

You can travel aboard our historic carriages by journeying with us by steam later this year.

Some of our carriages safely stored in the new shed.

Photos are courtesy Darren Kitchener, Martyn Bane and Rob Sanders.