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Report - 'Crewe Diesel'


The Human Turbine.
28DL Full Member
Depot code - CD

Crewe DMD - English Welsh and Scottish Rly. (CLOSED)
Allocation - None

Classes currently stored 37/47/56/58/60

This depot is not the beehive of activity it was 15 years ago, now silent and graced only with the sound of passing trains, the mess rooms are empty of banter, and the electrics are turned off. Indeed there isnt much to say about this hidden 'treat', on paper its a rotting shed, a Diesel maintenance depot, vaguely interesting to anyone other than the anorak, the hassle involved to get here surely wouldnt be worth it?

Thats until you step inside.

Slap bamn in my face, fronting a rake of 60's was 37406. It was going off.

If you look close enough, You'll accidentally bump into 19 stored locomotives, all huddeled away from praying eyes; 15 class 60's, 2 class 37's, and 2 class 56's. To put it into perspective, if all of the locos in the depot alone were fired up, there would be almost 60,000 Horse power on offer.

Outside lay the last mass collection of class 56's in the UK, Rummage around in the foliage and you'll find around 33 withdrawn 56's, 1 class 37, 1 class 58 and 1 class 47. The point I haven't made yet is that all of these machines have a makers plate somewhere that denotes 'Made in Great Britain', no, surely I mean Germany, or Japan, America?

Its not a very photogenic place, mainly becuase its rammed from one end to the other with locomotives


DB schenker painted 2 37's in their in house colours last year, sadly they didnt overhaul the locos, and shortly after, 37670's power unit failed. A common trait of DB schenker is to run perfectly good locomotives into the ground, so its possible to scrap them without the possibility of competing companies to use them. Its bizzare when they paint locomotives in their new house colours, and they end up on a scrap heap. Above left 37670 sits with its doors open, ready for the train heaven to take its soul!



Class 60's were the last British made diesel locomotive. First built in 1989 and Introduced to the network in late 1990, they were never given the love they required. One of the networks solid workhorse classes are the 56's, even though not yet life expired, they have virtually all been replaced by American counter parts. Class 37's are 50 year old beasts which, even now, withdrawn, they are not considered life expired. The demise of these locomotives is a metaphor for british industry.

Times of change 1960 vs 1990. Left shows the cab of class 37 37670 and right shows the cab of class 60 60092


Boring ANORAK talk
The class 60's are relitively young, however they endured an unlucky life. Built by Brush at Loughborough, they were an attempt to challenge the imported class 59, built by General motors. The first loco was introduced in 1989, but it took 16 months to iron out the teething problems, and these problems were'nt ironed out when the rest of the class was built in the early 90's. At one point during the construction programme Railfreight almost cancelled the order, after just 40 locomotives had been delivered, due to the extent of the problems. There were around 10,000 warranty faults on the fleet, an average of 100 per locomotive.

When BR was privitised, EW&S bought the whole fleet, and they made a promise to keep the whole fleet active. Throughout the next years, the fleet had a fairly monotone life, utalised in their sole capability to haul heavy freight trains. The fleet did recieve updates which increased their avaliablity upto 90%, but, they were still considered cumbersome when compared to the GM built 66 (introduced in 1998), which, although not as powerfull, was flawless in design and avaliability, ironically built on the design of the afore mentioned class 59 (1987). In 2004 the class 60 fleet had the first cuts since introduction, by 2010, no more than 15 of the 100 strong force were ever employed at one time, the rest of the fleet showing up as 'Stored'. A sad demise to what the British rail board envisaged as the future for the next 30 years, a 'what if' mybe.

Although these locos are not going to be scrapped just yet, it is indeed sad to see them unused in a rotting depot.






I did remind myself to grab a couple of snaps regarding what else was on show... There was some great snippets of info in here.



2 class 56's of the foreign Fertis variety. Loaned out to the continent a few years back and handed back about 2 years ago, they have since not seen service in the UK




Trying not to sound too much like an Anorak, this was the last time you could witness such a large group of condemed British built locomotives in one place. Sadly, these photographs were taken late 2010, and now he majority of the class 56's have been scrapped, and what locomotives havent been scraped, have been moved into new hostels.

Photography wise, I have to appoligise, it was back when i was doing a lot of print film and rarely taking the tripod anywhere. The Depot itself was a spur of the moment thing. All I had in my bag was a borrowed 20mm wide angle and long telephoto, a half exposed roll of Ilford Delta black and white, and a cheap colour roll. I normally keep them as a set, and seperate, but to give an accurate example of this place I had to include both. Although running like a lunatic and making two tone noises didnt help matters...

Crewe DMD as of November 2010:

37406 37426 37670
56031 56032 56037 56038 56049 56051 56054 56058 56060 56065 56067 56069 56071 56074 56077 56078 56081 56083 56087 56090 56094 56096 56103 56104 56105 56106 56107 56109 56113 56120
60002 60007 60028 60029 60038 60043 60046 60047 60055 60056 60076 60079 60082 60092 60095



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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow this is an amazing post, some really interesting history and details and the photos are great too... It's like Thomas the tank engine cemetery (shush don't tell the kids) lol


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I love this, fascinating.

I have stumbled across (what research tells me is) could be one of the largest collections of retired Class 60s very local to me and am desperate to take a look. Sadly there is little to no cover on what is still a relatively active sidings.

Doing a few reccies, I've spotted what I believe to be as disused sheds and other buildings across the site (which is vast), but since it is still so active I imagine security would be pretty tight and being caught might not go down so well! I've only been snooping in broad daylight, and while I've not seen secca as such, there are plenty of personnel milling around.

Here's a pic of the locos, as you can see, lots of them, but pretty exposed, just yards from operational areas...


I'm sure from the above info, it won't be too hard to find out where I'm talking about...!

P.s. I'm sorry if I've broken any etiquette by posting a pic in your report, I'll take it down if that's the case?


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The Human Turbine.
28DL Full Member
Hi mate, firstly, chill your bean, post whatever you want.

What you have posted is Healey mills. The largest (or most active) traction maintenance depot.

I've had a snoop around the condemned and stored locos before, but that's with railway hi vis gear etc. Don't quote me but a lot of them were going through complete overhaul and reinstated a few years ago, don't know how far they got!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi mate, firstly, chill your bean, post whatever you want.

What you have posted is Healey mills. The largest (or most active) traction maintenance depot.

I've had a snoop around the condemned and stored locos before, but that's with railway hi vis gear etc. Don't quote me but a lot of them were going through complete overhaul and reinstated a few years ago, don't know how far they got!
Haha thanks

A good guess, but my shot is from Toton TMD. The whole of the eastern part of the site is now virtually shut down and decaying including the wagon works. This is what it looked like in its heyday:


and compared with today:


I had no idea this place was even here until I was walking my dog up the hill on the RHS of the above picture, it had spectacular views across the whole area.

Did a recce yesterday and if I can find a way in I'll post a report if there's anything of note!

(Pictures courtesy of a website I stumbled across when researching)



Regular User
reminds me of a 2011 visit to Thornaby,
long gone now tho.
I always did like the class 60s,
shame they didnt get as much love as the rest.

very nice thread, thanks for sharing.
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sorry I did mean Toton! I did have a few looks in at the scrap line at Healey mills though.

Omg I so gotta look into this I live 10 mins away lol wonder what we can look at lol