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Thread: Gateshead Locomotive Depot - A depot remembered

  1. #1
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    Default Gateshead Locomotive Depot - A depot remembered


    In 1852 the North Eastern Ralway built it's HQ and locomotive works on 'Greensfield' meadows, in what would ultimatley become shed 52A, Gateshead locomotive depot, ending it's days in 1991 as Gateshead Traction Maintenance Depot. Famous for building steam locomotives, having an allocation of Gresley A4 Pacifics, and also class 55 Deltic locomotives, Gateshead depot served the East Coast Mainline and local area for 139 years. It was also famous for never keeping it's loco's clean, and being a difficult depot to bunk, I visited once and asked the foreman if we could look around, without lifting his head he uttered the immortal phrase "No F*ck off", fair enough

    As you will expect it is now a set of expensive flats under the guise of 'Ochre Yards', whatever that means, so knowing that the writing was on the wall, during 2001 a friend and I spent some time capturing the depot on numerous visits before it was gone forever. My one regret is having never got inside, but like in it's days as a working depot, till the last it remained difficult to get round.

    The depot as I remembered it as a lad in the 80's:



    The fuelling shed:



    Map showing the main areas before we go on tour:



    The fueller derelict:



    The main shed seen from Chaters bank:



    The signing on point and traincrew supervisors offices:



    Side view of the offices:



    Overall view:





    Back of the offices:



    The depot up front, as you can see it was a 'big un', I would have loved to have the clock in the centre:



    Back of the fuel tanks, Gateshead often was the principle cause for polluting the Tyne, if these babies overflowed, about a week later a mysterious 'oil slick' would appear!!



    Back of the fueller and washer:



    Another shot of the fuel tanks:



    Hiding inside had been these two long term residents (08515 & 08618), I turned up one day to see they had been pushed outside for some reason:



    And then about a week later I found the reason, the scrapman commeth:



    Shot of the back of the depot known as the 'ashbanks', where I used to spend many a happy warm summer Sunday sitting in one of the withdrawn locomotives eating my sarnies:



    The original loco works and station buildings (sorry about the poor photos, I was 'disturbed' on this visit by some rather angry pikies, so clicky clicky and run away):







    And then the inevitable came, demolition:



    The pale bridge is the one that carries the Metro across the Tyne:





    Another sad end of industrial history in the pursuit of modernisation, but glad I got to visit a few more times before it was raised to the ground.

    Hope you enjoyed these.

    Cheers
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45100355@N04/

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  2. Thanks given by: john1975, Waspy
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  4. #2
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    Some lovely historic photos there. :)

    I always did wonder where the Gateshead depot was - and I live quite near!!

    Thanks for posting.

  5. #3
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    Really loving some of this historical stuff, thanks for sharing!

  6. #4
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    Great pictures. I have a vague recollection of seeing an art exhibition in one of the sheds there, Anthony Gormley's (he of Angel of the North fame) 'Field for the British Isles'

  7. #5
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    Excellent, I love the old photos. Those Deltics were wonderful locos.

  8. #6
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    Cool photos mate,
    ...Hear me now from the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet...

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  9. #7
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    The pictures of the bunded oil storage tanks revived memories of producing defence evidence, for a number of oil spillage prosecutions made against this depot. In many of the old BR Depots that were located near large or major water courses, the standard oil separators in the surface water drainage system were augmented by an ingenious extra oil separator normally inserted just prior to the discharge outlet into the river. These extra separators were made from scrap locomotive boilers which had all the tubes and inner firebox removed, the grate, firedoor and all other openings except the smokebox door were plated/welded up. After the fitment of a few internal baffle plates the boilers were buried in the ground standing on the backhead (the smokebox door was at ground level acting as a manhole), the inlet and outlet pipes were then connected. These devices worked well as long staff removed the collected oil; however, sometimes due to an oil spillage this needed doing before the allocated time and removal could be delayed/forgotten about. If there was now a period of heavy rain, the flow of extra ground water through the system would also flush out some of the collected oil into the river or water course - hence the oil slick on the Tyne. It must be stated that BR was not always the source of these oil spillages, there being plenty of other contenders for the Court's wrath! Fortunately the oils causing the pollution were very easy to 'fingerprint' using instrumental analysis, and could always be traced back to the true polluter. The boiler buried on the Gateshead site was from a scrapped Peppercorn A1 Pacific - may be still there for all I know.

    Towards the end of their operational life the Deltics became a major source of fuel oil leakage, this was due to metal fatigue in their alloy fuel tanks. When it was decided to extend the working life of these locomotives, they were subjected to a major overhaul at the Doncaster Plant Works where new fuel tanks were fitted.

  10. #8
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    It's great to see your photos from some time ago, TK. Good thinking to get those done before it was too late.
    Enjoyed your tour very much. Cheers. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

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  11. #9
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    Ah! be still my beating heart. Photos of Class 45s and 08 Shunters hard at work. You must be of the same vintage as me TK..though you are clearly much more perspicacious. I used to knock around the Archcliffe Freight Yard in Dover (just outside the Western Docks station) when I was a kid, which regularly saw class 47s and a few 36s, as well as having its own two 09 shunters. Imagine my utter despair when about 6 months ago I went down there to have a look at it again only to find that the entire thing had been flattened to make way for a new car park for the Cruise terminal. Aaaaaargh!!! Needless to say, I hadn't had the foresight to take any photos before that point.

    BTW - sorry if this reply reads a bit like a letter to Rail Enthusiast. I never really was a trainspotter (honest guv!)
    "You never planned on the bombs in the sand/Or sleeping in your dress blues."

  12. #10
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    Default Gateshead MPD


    Great pictures, so sad to see its final days I have so many good memories (and photos) in the late 1970's and early 1980's of Deltics an whole variety of other classic traction on the depot. I only ever managed to get round the depot once the best you could normally achieve from the supervisor was a peek at the locos on shed list from which you could get a good idea of what was where and if there were any ticks to be had.

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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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