The Human Turbine.
Thornaby 'Traction Maintenance Depot'
I think quite a lot of us have found sites, which we declare as a bit of a personal place, something we find in common with a derelict place, or just something different.
For a while I've being doing a bit of research behind britains railways, and putting together some good leads, old and new on Railway sites. A few months ago i got fed up of seeing reports of so called train graveyards, which where mainly preserved lines, so i drew up Thornaby and planned on finding the rows of withdrawn locos, as i heard people say "You dont get these sites over here."
Railways are such a huge part of british history, and back in the day, Depots like this littered the country. Thornaby TMD was built in 1957, still in the Steam age of britains railways, its a simple layout of buildings, built for a common purpose of maintainaing locos fleets, although the work carried out inside was anything but simple. THornaby consisted of one huge roundhouse (now long gone) offices and the Maintenance sheds, which throughout their history could carry out 'heavy maintenance' of locos (Depots range a fair bit in work they carry out.) With fewer, more reliable locos of the modern era, EWS the owners of the depot, declared a cut down on old school TMD's in about 2006/07, Thornaby bit the dust last year. Good to note, the Wheel laithe is still used though.
That row of Withdrawn locos resided inside of the depot...
I Wasnt sure what to expect when i got inside, and althoguh not a massive place, i wasnt dissapointed. Tools, machinery, spares, log books and charts litter the place from one end to the other, and even though it had only being closed for a year, it looked more like 20 years. Workers rememnants are everywhere, and Sentimental scribes are over walls, its clear the work force didnt want this place to close, rightly so, too! My first visit was short lived as i had to scramble out after workers came in and started taking shit out, this happened a few times hehe.
The remains of the hectagonal? roundhouse, buidings used for stores and workers offices
This is the main maintenance shed having repaired thousands of locos for over half a decade, it now be empty.
Every locker or cabinet in this place has somethign inside.
Watch this space...
The Depot might be a good explore in its self, but i had come to find other things. Laying in the form of big steel power, Class 56's, producing 3250bhp (At the wheels, not the engines themselves) and producing around 61,800 of lbf, enough to make the earth turn. They where built in 1976 with one purpose in mind, coal. A good lifespan up until 2002/2003 when they where (some say early) withdrawn, and replaced by American counterparts. Locos like this are all over yards and depots in the country, rotting away awaiting the gas axe. Along with the Grids are 4 shunters, also withdrawn.
They reside in the old Fueling shed.
One of the Ruston-Paxman 16RK3CT engines
16 = 16 cylinders
R = Revised
K = Type
3 = Mark III
T = Traction . :)
Note the turbo chargers to the top right, those babies produce enough scream to pop your ear lugs.
I think this is where overhaul work/exams would take place, which could take up time, hence having a seperate work space and lines.
More side rooms with equipment, you see that cabinet, that was filled with BR handheld lamps. Other rooms had full fuel injectors on display.
I know ex fitters, and leccys who worked in these places, and non have ever said they disliked the work. I salvaged a lot of the pictures on the walls. One of the pictures shows the massive roundhouse which is now gone.