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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Leamington Shed: gwrls3977

The Great Western Railway Locomotive Depot at Leamington had a standard medium sized coaling stage

The Great Western Railway Locomotive Depot at Leamington had a standard medium sized coaling stage. The coaling stage is a covered elevated platform where coal could be unloaded from an open railway wagon and discharged into a locomotive’s tender. The elevated platform was designed to be eleven foot, six inches above the lower rail level. An inclined rail-road was provided for coal wagons to be shunted up to the elevated platform (typically rising 1 in 160). The rail-road continued beyond the coal stage building on an embankment with a rising gradient of 1 in 80. This slope allowed several full coal wagons to be stored and let down by gravity when required. Within the coaling stage building the rail-road was level, one foot below the elevated platform floor. Coaling was performed by means of manually shovelling coal from the coal wagons into small tip wagons. The difference in levels meant the floor of the coal wagon was the same height as the top of the tip wagon. The tip wagons would be pushed along a short length of track to the discharge point, which overhung the locomotive’s tender.

The coaling stage was surmounted by a divided water tank with a total capacity of 78,000 gallons. The water tank size was based on 2,000 gallons per locomotive allocated to the depot. A minimum head of water of twenty-five feet was provided as this would typically allow 2,000 gallons to be discharged through a large bore (typically eight inch) pipe to the water crane within five minutes (for details of GWR cranes see 'misc_equip193'). The divided tank allowed one half to be emptied for maintenance while the other half could still be used. A simple float attached to a pulley wheel indicated on the outside the depth of water remaining in the tank. The pulley wheel can be seen on top of the tank adjacent to the access ladder.

An external wooden staircase gave access to the elevated platform floor. On the lower level was a room could be used for storage or offices.

Robert Ferris