REALLY SideTracked - Exmouth Junction
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This is cache placed at a site of historical railway past,although now there are no railway sheds or trains and any old lines are burried the site is now used as alotments and a large supermarket.
The London and South Western Railway (LSWR) opened its main line from Yeovil Junction to Exeter Queen Street on 19 July 1860, and a branch line from Exeter to Exmouth on 1 May the following year. The junction of the two lines was 1.1 miles (1.8 km) from Queen Street, just east of the 263-yard (240 m) Blackboy Tunnel.
An engine shed was initially provided at Queen Street but as the number of trains serviced grew too many for the cramped site, a new shed was opened at Exmouth Junction in 1887 on land to the north of the main line. It was rebuilt in brick and concrete in the 1920s by the Southern Railway (SR, which had taken over the LSWR in 1923), and at its peak in the period between 1930 and 1960 it typically had an allocation of over 120 locomotives, as well as being responsible for engines at other depots in the south west. It was closed to steam locomotives in 1965 and finally closed in 1967.
Concrete works were established near the engine shed which converted into a coal concentration depot after closure, whilst the site of the shed itself was turned over to a supermarket in 1979. The coal concentration depot received its last delivery in the late 1990s and has seen little use since. In the 1990s the area was used as a depot for railway maintenance machines and a new small shed built. After privatisation it was operated by Jarvis Plant, but this had ceased by early 2008 and the shed demolished.
The engine shed was opened on 3 November 1887. The main shed was built in corrugated iron and covered 11 tracks. A 55 feet (17 m)turntable was situated behind the shed to turn locomotives, and a range of other facilities were provided including a dormitory for engine crews and a wagon repair workshop.
Work on a replacement shed started in the summer of 1924. The main shed was now of concrete construction 270 feet (82 m) long and 235 feet (72 m) wide across 13 tracks. A crane above one track that could lift loads of 63 long tons (64,000 kg). A new 65 feet (20 m) turntable was provided, and a mechanical coaling tower with a capacity of 300 long tons (300 t) built from concrete replaced the old wooden coaling platform. The first 7 tracks were brought into use in 1926 and the final work was completed in 1929. More than 400 staff were based at the depot, including 240 locomotive crew. The turntable was replaced again in 1947, this time by a 70 feet (21 m) example.
Part of the Southern Region of British Railways from 1948, it was given the shed code 72A. In 1963 it was transferred to the Western Region and the code was changed to 83D. It was closed to steam on 1 June 1965 and the staff transferred elsewhere in 1966, although a few diesels were stabled there until final closure on 6 March 1967.
Such a shame to loose all this part of our history as future generations will never see how the railway industry worked.
Well done to The Kilby,s for FTF.
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