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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Leamington Spa Shed: gwrls3904

A view of Leamington Spa Shed from the boundary by the canal taken in May 1965, shortly before the shed closed

A view of Leamington Spa Shed from the boundary by the canal taken in May 1965, shortly before the shed closed. The siding with the buffer stop is the ‘Engine Spur’ referred to below and to the right behind the diagonally stripped telephone box is a double slip crossing giving access to either the Locomotive Yard or Carriage Sidings from the incoming road and a second head shunt. Off the picture to the right is the facing point connection to the Up main line controlled by the Leamington Spa South Junction Signal Box (levers 12 and 13 - Note that two levers are required on facing points because an additional locking mechanism is provided to secure the point blades and prevent the wheels of a train forcing these to move). Specific instructions about accessing and egressing the locomotive yard were contained in the Birmingham District Sectional Appendix of October 1960, these state: ‘A telephone is fixed to the large lamp at the entrance to the Yard and this instrument gives communication with the South Junction Box. Engines leaving the shed must come to a stand clear of the incoming road leading to the coal stage until the signal is lowered for them to proceed. The Signalman must be informed by telephone when engines are inside the shed signal clear of the outgoing road. A telephone is also fixed on a post alongside the Engine Spur at the North End of the Yard to enable Enginemen to communicate with the Signalman at the South Junction Box and advise him of their requirements’.

The four road Engine Shed had opened in September 1906 replacing an earlier timber building on the north side of the station, which had been destroyed by fire in 1902. It was the first of many Churchward standard straight Engine Sheds built across the Great Western Railway. The combined water tank and coaling stage with incline for discharging coal wagons also became the new standard in future Locomotive Sheds. The three sidings on the left stabling a line of steel mineral wagons were built for exchanging the loco coal wagons. In January 1948, Leamington Spa Shed became part of the Western Region of British Railways and in June 1959 additional Diesel fuelling facilities were constructed in the carriage sidings to the right of the Engine Shed. In September 1963, control of Leamington Spa Shed was past to the Midlands Region and it was renumbered from 84D to 2L. The shed closed on 14th June 1965.

In May 1965 the Leamington Spa Shed allocation totalled 13 steam locomotives as follows:

Wheel Arrangement Class Locomotive Running Number
0-6-2T 56xx 6644, 6671 and 6697
2-6-0 2MT 46428, 46442, 46457, 46470 and 46505
4-6-0 5MT 73026, 73066, 73069 and 73156
2-6-4T 4MT 80072

Robert Ferris