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LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton
LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington

Coventry Station: lnwrcov596

View of the London and Birmingham shed with the 'incline machine' on the left and the parcel depot on the right

View of the L&BR shed with the 'incline machine' on the left and the parcel depot on the right cica 1950s. The clutter below the incline machine is a mixture of building and permanent way materials and might offer a clue as to the sign above the shed door which read 'Ketton Cement'. The ability of the railways to maximise on advertising revenue is demonstrated by the unusual location of the VIROL and the Camp Coffee adverts. The congestion caused by Warwick Road bridge is well illustrated in this view. Because the Birmingham end of the down platform had just a short section of track before it joined the down through road, a locomotive standing at the platform would prevent any through traffic from passing through the station.

The L&BR shed with its enormous doors, was always referred to by the staff as the 'Midland Shed', and is shown on some plans as such, and as having been closed in 1904. The myth that it was built by the MR was perpetuated by a number of authors in the late 20th century who really should have known better. Its not only improbable that the Midland Railway would have built so small a shed to service the locomotives used on its goods services to Coventry, or that it would have chosen to build a shed at a passenger station when only freight locos had to be serviced, but why would the LNWR allow it. It appears that what happened was that the MR simply took over the by now disused L&BR engine house, which Wishaw describes in his account of the station in 1842. There was space (just!) outside the shed for the 12ft turntable Wishaw describes. The engine house structure survived until 1959. One of the few improvements to the down side buildings after the enlargements of the 1860s was the provision of the 'incline machine', the covered walkway down from a subsidiary entrance on Warwick Road, served by its own ticket office at the top of the long sloping ramp. Although the wide rampway provided a gentle approach to the down platform, its use required the station master to find a second group of booking staff and ticket collectors, and since the road access was poor (there was not even a small layby on the narrow Warwick Road), this second entrance was little used. Latterly, at least, it was opened up only when large crowds were expected, and then often only when they were disembarking.