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Alcester GWR Shed

GWR Route: Alcester to Bearley

The Alcester company originally intended to erect a two-road loco shed to house two locomotives, and a turntable, but in the event the company was persuaded by their Engineer, William Clarke, to opt for a single-road shed and defer the options of a turntable until after the line was opened. The line's contractors, Scott & Edwards, erected the shed during July and August 1876 for £733 19s 4d. A direct connection from the shed to the branch line was not possible because of the gradients . Instead it had been originally intended to connect the shed to a spur from the Evesham & Redditch Railway goods yard, but when permission was refused a connection was made to the branch line via a short head shunt at the north end of the shed, the necessary point-work, etc, locked with the MR junction signal box being installed by October 1876. The engine shed opened in September 1876 and housed the Alcester branch locomotive. When the branch was closed and track removed during the First World War, there was no need for an engine shed and this was therefore closed on 1st November 1915, when the branch engine transferred to neighbouring Stratford-on-Avon, itself a sub-shed of Tyseley. After the war ended, following the reinstatement of the branch, the engine shed was also reopened in August 1923. The engine shed was finally closed on 27th October 1939.

The engine shed was 38ft long by 16ft wide internally. The walls were built in red brick and it had a gable style slated roof on timber trusses. The height to the top of the walls was 16ft and the height to the top of the ridge was 22ft 6ins. There was a 36ft long inspection pit inside the shed under the single road. Three smoke ventilation stacks were provided in the roof. A pair for wooden doors were provided at each end of the through shed. The adjacent red brick built water tank structure was constructed at the same time as the engine shed, but the two were not physically connected. It was 12ft by 8ft internally and the height to the bottom of the water tank was 16ft. A water crane was attached to the wall of this structure adjacent to the branch line. This could be swivelled flush against the structures wall when not in use. The supply is believed to have come from the nearby River Arrow, water being pumped up into the tank utilizing the branch engine. The shed road extended through the building for 400ft towards the station and was served by a 20ft x 9ft coaling platform, erected in April 1900, constructed in brick with a wooden platform, in front of which was another inspection pit, 26ft in length, both being provided in April 1900. Alcester was a sub-shed of Birmingham Bordesley (later Tyseley). It appears that the locomotive shed was the only building erected by the Alcester Railway Company.

Allocations:

  • 1st January 1901 0-4-2T No 1156
  • 1st January 1926 0-4-2T No 537
  • 1st January 1934 0-4-2T No 4814
  • 1st January 1939 0-4-2T No 4811

Robert Ferris

Much of the information on this and other pages of Warwickshire Railways is derived from articles or books listed in our 'bibliography'.

Alcester Station - MR & GWR (63) Alcester Shed - GWR (12)

View looking towards the junction with the Midland Railway's line whilst on the left the single road GWR shed can be seen
Ref: gwr-mra475
Anon
View looking towards the junction with the MR's line whilst on the left the single road GWR shed can be seen
Alcester Junction with the GWR Alcester Branch curving off to the right behind the engine shed and the MR line to Redditch straight ahead
Ref: gwr-mra474
Anon
Alcester Junction with the GWR branch on the right behind the engine shed and the MR line to Redditch on the left
Close up showing the Alcester Branch Engine Shed which was constructed in 1876 by Messrs Scott and Edwards for the sum of 733 19s 4d
Ref: gwr-mra474a
Anon
Close up of the Alcester Branches' Shed erected in 1876 by Scott and Edwards for the sum of £733 19s 4d
View from the junction with the MR showing the disused line towards Great Alne with the water tower adjacent to the abandoned shed on the right
Ref: gwr-mra665
P Garland
View from the junction with the MR showing the disused line towards Great Alne with the water tower on the right
View of the derelict shed adjacent to Alcester Junction with the wooden doors and water tank still retaining the distinctive GWR painting policy
Ref: gwr-mra549
Anon
View of the derelict shed with the wooden doors and water tank still retaining the distinctive GWR painting policy

Alcester shed in September 1936 when 0-4-2T locomotive No.4801 was stabled here
Ref: gwr-mra666
WA Camwell
View of Alcester shed in September 1936 when 0-4-2T locomotive No.4801 was stabled here
View of the derelict shed and water tank, designed by William Clarke, and built with red brick and slated roof
Ref: gwr-mra1295a
Anon
View of the derelict shed and water tank, designed by William Clarke, and built with red brick and slated roof
A GWR drawing showing a plan, sectional and side views of Alcester Railway's single road engine shed and water tower
Ref: gwr-mra1295
Great Western Railway
Drawing showing a plan, sectional and side views of Alcester Railway's single road engine shed and water tower
Close showing internal and external sectional drawings of Alcester Railway's Single Road Engine Shed
Ref: gwr-mra1295c
Great Western Railway
Close showing internal and external sectional drawings of Alcester Railway's Single Road Engine Shed
Close up showing a plan and side view of the single road engine shed with internal and external inspection pit
Ref: gwr-mra1295a
Great Western Railway
Close up showing a plan and side view of the single road engine shed with internal and external inspection pit

Close showing a plan, internal and external elevations of the engine shed's water towe
Ref: gwr-mra1295b
Great Western Railway
Close showing a plan, internal and external elevations of the engine shed's water towe
GWR Railcar No 4 is seen standing on one of the direct access roads in to Tyseley Repair workshops as it has maintenance undertaken
Ref: gwr-mra320
GWR Official Documentation
The GWR Rule Book, produced in January 1933, requiring staff to take proper care of themselves and others

Alcester Station - MR & GWR (63) Alcester Shed - GWR (12)

The LMS and its successor, British Railways, undertook to film various aspects of operating steam locomotives and other railway operations. We have provided below links to some of the films related to shed operation that we know exist. When we ascertain films on GWR operations we shall add these to the website too. Films on other aspects of railway operations can be viewed via our Video and Film Clip section.

"Wash and Brush Up" 1953
Shows the procedures that a steam engine goes through as part of its regular maintenance cycle. The locomotive being featured in the film is a British Railways Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 No 73020 at 6D Chester (Midland shed. (25 minutes 19 seconds)

LMS On the Shed - Part One of Two
Various shots of an engine being prepared and serviced ready for its next trip. Includes actions and responsibilities of crew. (9 minutes 44 seconds)

LMS On the Shed - Part Two of Two
Various shots of an engine being prepared and serviced ready for its next trip. Includes actions and responsibilities of crew. (9 minutes 31 seconds)