·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

Warwickshire's Industrial Railways

Ministry of Defence – Army - Long Marston Central Engineer Park (Depot)

Including Bird's Commercial Motors Scrap Yard

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) purchased the site in 1940 as a central facility for military operations and it later became an MOD Central Engineers Depot. St Modwen subsequently acquired the site from Defence Estates in November 2004 when the MOD had no further use for it.

The function of this Depot was to store resources for Army Engineers in a series of storage sheds and warehouses of varying sizes. Many of these were rail connected, served by sidings off a main 'loop' line which ran around the site. The Depot's 'loop' main line fed into both ends of a small marshalling yard/exchange sidings which were situated alongside the former GWR Stratford-on-Avon – Honeybourne line just south of Long Marston Station [provide link http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/longmarston.htm to page on WRlys web site?]. The Depot's locomotive shed and a railway control office were situated alongside the yard.

The Depot was built early in World-War II and was very busy during that conflict. Most of the locomotives employed then were newly built WD 'Austerity' 0-6-0STs working over the 45 miles of track serving the facility. Following the end of the war traffic declined rapidly, then over the rest of the life of the Depot it steadily decreased. The Austerity steam locos were gradually replaced by diesels although one or two were kept for steaming on special occasions. In the 1960s part of the site was leased to Bird's Commercial Motors – a Stratford-on-Avon based surplus and scrap dealer. Because of the rail connection via the MoD yard Bird's was able to process redundant British Railways locomotives and rolling stock with MoD locomotives delivering items for scrap and transferring wagons of scrap to the main line. Bird's used their own shunting locos within their premises.

The MoD depot facilities were run down in the 1990s leading to eventual closure. The remains of the rail system was taken over for various activities including industrial locomotive storage and repair, a secure store for surplus mainline rolling stock, etc. [Information from Industrial Railway Society Handbooks]

Roger Monk

On this page:

back to top

Views of the echange sidings and yard at Long Marston
Ref misclm2433
R Monk
WD 0-6-ST No 160 is seen within Long Marston Ordnance Depot at the head of a two-coach workmen's train

A 1971 visit to the depot

By the Western Trooper Railtour from London (Waterloo) on October 16th.

The view from the Railway Control Office of the marshalling yard and exchange sidings
Ref: 1971_04_09a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER approaching the Depot's North Gate with a railtour train in October 1971
Ref: 1971_04_02a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER approaching the Depot's North Gate with a railtour train in October 1971
Ref: 1971_04_05a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER approaching the Depot's North Gate with a railtour train in October 1971
Ref 1971_04_08a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER approaching the Depot's North Gate with a railtour train in October 1971
Ref 1971_04_04a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971

The breakdown crane demonstrated using a withdrawn BR diesel loco D2146 from Bird's scrap yard
Ref: 021_11_1971aa_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
The breakdown crane demonstrated using a withdrawn BR diesel loco D2146 from Bird's scrap yard
Ref 1971_04_03a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
A wagon built by the US Army Transportation Corps for use in Europe after D-Day in WWII
Ref: 1971_04_06a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER makes its way round the circuit with a railtour train
Ref 1971_04_07a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1971

back to top

A 1972 visit to the Depot

Signboard on the Railway Control Office, 1972
Ref: 021_09_1972a_s
R Monk
Signboard on the Railway Control Office, 1972
Pecjkett 0-4-0ST No 9 'Whitby' photographedin the sidings at Harbury Cement Works in September 1950
Ref 002_31_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER Hunslet 3798 of 1953 & 92 Hunslet 3792/53 WAGGONER adjacent to the Railway Control Office. These two steam locos were in steam for a special open day
Ref 002_32_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER Hunslet 3798 of 1953 & 92 Hunslet 3792/53 WAGGONER adjacent to the Railway Control Office. These two steam locos were in steam for a special open day
Ref 1972_03_03a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER Hunslet 3798 of 1953 & 92 Hunslet 3792/53 WAGGONER adjacent to the Railway Control Office. These two steam locos were in steam for a special open day
Ref: 1972_03_06a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972

Both locos being watered from a standpipe
Ref: 002_33_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Both steam locomotives outside the loco shed
Ref: 1972_03_07a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
92 Hunslet 3792/53 WAGGONER outside the loco shed
Ref: 002_35_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
In 1972 Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER Hunslet 3798 of 1953 on a railtour train consisting of coaches normally used for internal personnel transport.
Ref 002_20_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
In 1972 Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER Hunslet 3798 of 1953 on a railtour train consisting of coaches normally used for internal personnel transport
Ref 002_23_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972

The Railtour train approaching one of the passenger halts on the railway
Ref 002_27_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Two views of the 1972 Railtour train running round the Depot loop line
Ref: 063_16_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Two views of the 1972 Railtour train running round the Depot loop line
Ref 063_17_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
A typical layout of the storage huts and railway within the Depot
Ref: 002_28_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Army 92 Hunslet 3792/53 WAGGONER at the rear end of the railtour train
Ref: 002_30_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972

Army 92 WAGGONER on a freight wagon railtour, 7th October 1972
Ref: 1972_03_02a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Bullied design brake coach converted by the Army into an inspection saloon
Ref 002_25_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
92 WAGGONER in the marshalling yard with an ex SR brake and internal user freight wagons
Ref 002_37_1972a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972
Army 98 ROYAL ENGINEER (Hunslet 3798 of 1953) heads a railtour train
Ref 1972_03_08a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1972

back to top

A 1981 visit to the Depot

Pecjkett 0-4-0ST No 9 'Whitby' photographedin the sidings at Harbury Cement Works in September 1950
Ref 025_09_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1991
Army 221  an unusual loco in that it was 'home' built at the Bicester Army workshops in 1955, although using some Andrew Barclay parts
Ref 025_02_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981
Army 232  a well kept 0-4-0D built by Drewry Car/Vulcan Foundry in 1945
Ref: 061_04_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981
Army 0-4-0D locomotive on a railtour train 1981
Ref: 025_06_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981
Long Marston had its own steam breakdown crane, built by Ransomes & Rapier Ltd. in 1942
Ref 025_03_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981

A steam rail crane used for PW work in the Depot, seen in 1981
Ref: 025_05_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981
A steam rail crane used for PW work in the Depot, seen in 1981
Ref 061_02_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981
Newly overhauled internal rolling stock in the marshalling yard awaiting transfer over BR tracks to a Naval Depot
Ref 025_10_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1981

back to top

Long Marston Open Day in 1987 to commemorate 200 years of the Royal Engineers

In 1987 an open day was held at Long Marston to commemorate 200 years of the Royal Engineers. Visiting loco LMS Stanier 8F 2-8-0 8233 was used on a variety of freight and passenger trains running round the Depot loop line. Army steam locomotive 98 (HE 3798/1953), which had been retained at the Depot for steaming on special occasions, was also used on the trains together with some Army diesel locomotives.

LMS 2-8-0 8F No 8233 on demonstration freight duty
Ref 054_08_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
LMS 2-8-0 8F No 8233 on demonstration freight duty
Ref: 072_10_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
8233 on passenger and freight duty
Ref 072_$0_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
LMS 2-8-0 8F No 8233 on demonstration freight duty
Ref 072_06_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
8233 heads past the Depot gates
Ref: 072_21_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987

Army 98 working round the depot on passenger trains
Ref: 054_05_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Army 98 working round the depot on passenger trains
Ref: 072_03_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Army 98 working round the depot on passenger trains
Ref 072_11_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Army 98 working round the depot on passenger trains
Ref: 072_07_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
'Veteran' diesel 235 Andrew Barclay 371 of 1945 hauls a train of traditional freight wagons. The first wagon is an ex USA Army TC WWII vehicle
Ref: 072_04_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987

Pecjkett 0-4-0ST No 9 'Whitby' photographedin the sidings at Harbury Cement Works in September 1950
Ref 072_05_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Two of the Army's Thomas Hill 'Vanguard' diesels, the normal Depot motive power in 1987, with a freight train
Ref: 072_15_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
3 'generations' of motive power in the yard; although the AB diesel is older than the steam locomotive
Ref 072_20_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Views of the echange sidings and yard at Long Marston
Ref 072_13_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987
Views of the echange sidings and yard at Long Marston
Ref: 072_14_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987

Views of the echange sidings and yard at Long Marston
Ref 072_19_1987a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Depot seen on a visit in 1987

back to top

Bird's Commercial Motors Long Marston Scrap Yard

This particular part of the Long Marston complex was actually in Worcestershire but is included here for completeness.

In the 1960s part of the site was leased to Bird's Commercial Motors – a Stratford-on-Avon based surplus and scrap dealer. Because of the rail connection via the MoD yard Bird's was able to process redundant British Railways locomotives and rolling stock with MoD locomotives delivering items for scrapping and transferring wagons of scrap to the main line via the exchange sidings. Bird's used their own shunting locos within their premises.

An aerial photograph of the Harbury Cement works dated 29th October 1927, with the GWR's Birmingham Main line clearly visible to the east
Ref: 025_12_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Bird's Scrap Yard
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 diesel loco works no. 325 of 1937, former Army 121 from Hilsea Ordnance Depot, Hants.
Ref 061_08_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Bird's Scrap Yard
Bird's working loco in 1981  former BR D2857 (02 class) built by the Yorkshire Engine Co. (2816/60)  remarkably this loco survived until 1992
Ref: 061_10_1981a_s
R Monk
One of several views of the Bird's Scrap Yard

back to top