For memories of Rubgy MPD
Rugby's importance as a junction station combined with being
almost equidistant between Euston and Crewe meant that for nearly one hundred
years Rugby Shed was strategically important, first to the LNWR and then to its
successors, the LMS and the British Railways Board. Hawkin's & Reeve's
state in their book 'LMS Engine Sheds: Volume One - The L&NWR' that 'at
various times Rugby was an engine changing point for a variety of services,
particularly the Liverpool and Manchester to London expresses in the 1870s.
Being an important and complex junction it 'was an obvious site to locate an
engine shed and servicing facilities' something recognised as early as 1847.
McConnell, Superintendent of the LNWR's Southern Division formerly the London
to Birmingham line, reported in 1850 'that additional shelter for engines is
much required at Rugby, there being twenty-two engines in steam daily and shed
room for only ten'. His solution to the immediate problem was a shed 'like the
one to be erected at Bletchley which may be removed at little expense'.
Hawkins & Reeves state that this shed was erected the
following year and by 1853 two sheds were in use, one for the Northern Division
and the other for Southern Division locomotives. Within thirteen years the
numbers of locomotives had increased to one hundred, thirty-four passenger
types, fifty-four goods engines, five bankers for passenger services, five
goods engine shunters and two 'ballast engines'. In 1909 there were no less
than one hundred and sixty locomotives with twenty-six being the newest
'Precursor' type express engines. The abandonment of engine changing on many
express services by the 1930s had resulted in Rugby's allocation of locomotives
becoming more focused on servicing goods traffic for the area's industrial and
mining communities. However as 'Hawkins & Reeves' state 'its position on a
critical junction ensured it remained one of the primary depots of the LMS, and
it received a large share of Stanier locos when they were built. In 1954
Rugby's allocation included some forty 'Black Fives', ten 8Fs with the
remaining ninety odd locomotives comprising ten 0-8-0s, nine 2-6-4T's, 'a
motley collection of ex-MR and 4F 0-6-0s, 3F tanks and 4P 4-4-0s not forgetting
No 46604 one of two surviving Webb 2-4-2Ts.
Rugby mpd 1958-59
A personal recollection by Ray Sharratt
Rugby mpd was situated on the upside of Rugby Midland Station.
The shed was linked to the station by a footbridge. As it entered the shed
there were a couple of offices on the left, one being the Loco Superintendents
office. One then entered No 1 shed proper.
On the right was the Loco staff mess room and on the wall were
the 'clocking in' clocks. 'Clocking in' was undertaken by all staff except the
footplate crews who signed on in the loco shed foreman's office. The tracks in
the shed led out to one's right and on the left (front of the shed) was the
steep entrance leading from Mill Road and that was adjacent to the shed
foreman's office. The footplate crews reported to the shed foreman, who
designated there duties. They then read all the various notices in the foyer
area that pertained to there duty and then (if taking a loco off the shed)
checked the board outside the office for the loco designated to there duty.
This large black board gave the number of the engine for the particular turn
and its location on No 1 shed. 20 minutes was allowed for signing on and
reading notices and fairly strict times were allowed to walk to various
locations around Rugby Midland station and the goods yards to relieve crews out
on the road. No 1 shed was where the operational locos were stabled, whereas,
No 2 shed was where the fitters and maintenance staff carried out there work.
That said, some maintenance work was undertaken in No 1 shed and certainly most
(but not all) of the loco cleaning was done in No 1 shed. No 1 shed housed the
Locomotive Stores and the office of the Chargehand who looked after the
cleaners, steam raisers and various labourers. In my time at Rugby, Joe Munday
was the Chargehand. On the front of the shed, in Mill Road, was the Loco Lodge.
This was looked after by Joe Munday's wife and was used by a few crews on
lodging turns but in the main by men at the shed who needed some accommodation.
As a sixteen year old passed cleaner, I lived in the lodge for three months in
1959. At the time, there was also a group of fireman from the Liverpool area,
who were on temporary loan to the shed.
Beyond No 2 shed was what I always referred to as the Erecting
shops. This was where heavy repairs and intermediate overalls were undertaken
for the locos in the district covered by Rugby. (2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E). The
work was fairly major as seen by the condition of LNWR Super 'D' 48927 and the
term, 'intermediate' meant somewhere around the midway point before the
locomotive returned to Crewe Works for a major overall. During 1959 numerous
locomotives were stored in the sidings that ran between No 2 shed and the
Erecting Shop, stretching almost to the shed engine coaling plant.
Rugby's early sheds and locomotives
Inside the sheds and workshops
Servicing the locomotives - Coaling, Watering and
Locomotives from the LNWR Period (up to 1922)
Locomotives from the LMS Period (1923 to 1947)
Locomotives from the British Railways Period (1948 to circa
Diesel & Electric Dawn (and Dusk)
The LMS and its successor, British Railways, undertook to film
various aspects of operating steam locomotives and other railway operations. We
have provided below links to some of the films related to shed operation that
we know exist. Films on other aspects of railway operations can be viewed via
our Video and Film Clip section.
"Wash and Brush Up" 1953
Shows the procedures that a steam
engine goes through as part of its regular maintenance cycle. The locomotive
being featured in the film is a British Railways Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 No
73020 at 6D Chester (Midland shed. (25 minutes 19 seconds)
LMS On the Shed - Part One of Two
Various shots of an engine
being prepared and serviced ready for its next trip. Includes actions and
responsibilities of crew. (9 minutes 44 seconds)
LMS On the
Shed - Part Two of Two
Various shots of an engine being prepared and
serviced ready for its next trip. Includes actions and responsibilities of
crew. (9 minutes 31 seconds)