Elms Engine Shed (70A)
During 1967 I made almost weekly trips to Nine
Elms shed. It was run down, dirty but huge. I was always surprised at
the engine lurking at the back of the shed or at finding a new corner I
My first visit in 1967 was on the 11 March as
there was a visiting engine being prepared for a rail tour - LNER K4 no.
3442 "Great Marquis". My last was on Sunday 10th
September when the last two engines left, on their way to a scrap yard
in South Wales.
It is tempting to make this page an album of the
many pictures I have, but will focus on views that compare to the site
today - plus a few personal favourites.
The Great Marquis
1966 and 1967 saw a number of visitors, brought to the Southern to work
a variety of rail tours. KNER K4 class locomotive no. 3442 "The Great Marquis" had been
overhauled and restored to LNER livery. In March 1967 it made a rare
visit to London. On Sunday 12 March it worked a rail tour from London
Victoria to Brighton, Chichester and Southampton. I saw it the day before at Nine Elms when it was
The engine was owned by Viscount Garnock and he
seemed to have employed his young family as engine cleaners!
Following his death in 1989 the locomotive was
bought by John Cameron, the Scottish farmer who also owned the A4
pacific 60009 "Union of South Africa". 3442 continued working
on the main line until a couple of years ago. By now it had reverted to
it's former BR identity of 61994.
50 years after it's visit to the Southern
Region, it's active service was over. Mr. Cameron was retiring and
decided to retire his two engines, putting them in a
farming and railway museum he is
establishing in Fife. Whilst 60009 has a couple of years of life on
its boiler certificate, it was the end of the road for "The Great
Marquis". It has a crack in the inner firebox and it's boiler
certificate has expired.
The pictures show 3442 at Nine Elms plus
one at the Great Central Railway in 2011. This was the last time I saw
her in steam.
Covent Garden Market
Nine Elms locomotive shed closed on 9 July 1967 and the last two steam
engines left for the scrap yard in September that year. Over the following couple
of years the area was raised to the ground and the New Covent Garden
Market built on the site. A recent visit enabled me to see how it had
changed. The market covers the whole of the site towards Vauxhall
station where once the old London & South Western Railway locomotive
works were, and lately the Nine Elms South Goods Depot and locomotive
here shows the current site with the position of key builds from
the steam era overlaid.
The red line is an approximation
of the running line from Nine Elms Junction at the top, past the
coaling stage and towards to turntable (bottom left.
The site of the turntable is
shown with an oversize circle and today is covered with trees. I
have marked out roughly where the running sheds were, based on the
study of various maps. On the right is the new shed and on the
left, the old one, the area that lost its roof during the Second
World War being indicated with the unfilled box.
Just above the turntable is a
short yellow line. This indicates the old entrance by Brooklands
Back in 1966/67 I thought the
size of the running shed was large and the associated siding space
taking up a great deal of land. In contrast, the current market
buildings are huge. Just one of the six market halls is larger
than the new shed!
the few signs of the old depot is at Brooklands Passage where the
main entrance was located.
This shows the wall built where
there were the two entry points (well actually, one was the
entrance and the other the exit). Parts of the old wall are still
there as the picture on the right shows.
Brooklands Road, and the
Victorian housing that was there are no longer. That whole site
being taken up by Lambeth College and the South Bank University.
This shows the detail of the
pedestrian entrance. It's now bricked over but the column where
the signs were fixed still remains - even at the same wonky
are a selection of pictures taken in 1967 and on the 10 June 2017 - 50
The site of the turntable is now
covered by a number of trees and behind the car. The flats are
still there but hidden behind the trees. A classic view in the
1960s was from the flats looking across the shed. Alas this view
is no longer there.
The 1967 pictures show Bulleid
Light Pacifics 34087 and 34025 (20 May 1967) and 34004 (10 June
The 1967 shot features West
Country class no. 34013 "Okehampton" outside the running
shed. The 2017 is the same location today.
Both shots were taken on the 10
June - 50 years and an hour or so apart.
Another from the 20 May 1967 and
Bulleid engines 34087, 34025 and 34102.
3 July 1966 and Standard Class 3
tank engine no. 82006 simmers in the yard. The grime on the engine
hide the fact that it was painted in lined BR green livery. Today
the same block of flats are there but it's vans and lorries parked
where once there were railway sidings.
34037 arriving on shed on the
penultimate day of steam - Saturday 8 July 1967. The large
imposing coaling stage was located to the right of the engine.
12 June 2017
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