The 8D Association

Edge Hill Locomotive Shed 8A.

                   Opened                                      1864                    
Company on Opening               London and North Western Railway 
Closed   6th May 1968
 Company on Closing  British Railways
 Grid Ref SJ383901

A good overall view of the shed before the start of the Second World War with several engines in steam. There is major rebuilding work being carried out on the roof with the L.N.W.R. roof partly stripped away prior to being replaced with an L.M.S. single pitch style roof. The part of the building seen here was the original 1864 structure with the 1902 extension being built to the rear.
Photographer unknown.
From the D.K. Jones collection.
Supplied by Transport Image Archive via their Ebay shop.

The first know engine shed proper near Edge Hill was established by the Grand Junction Railway in 1834. It is possible that there was an earlier 1830 shed built by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Chatsworth cutting but conclusive proof that it was used by locomotives and not stationary winding engines has never been established. Due to the rapid expansion of the railway system in the Liverpool area a second shed was built by the Grand Junction in 1839, this allowed the original to be used for repair work to locomotives. With the Grand Junctions decision to move their repair facilities to a new works at Crewe the new shed passed to the L & M railway for servicing of their locomotives.

Two L.M.S. built locomotives stand outside the depot. Stanier Black 5 Class 4-6-0 number 44773 would remain allocated to 8A until being withdrawn in December 1967 from where it was sent to Cohens of Kettering and cut up in May 1968, the month the depot officially closed. Stanier 8F Class 2-8-0 number 48467 fared no better being transferred from 8A to Patricroft 9H in May 1968 only to be withdrawn one month later, the loco too was cut up by Cohens of Kettering in January 1969.
18th September 1966.
Photo by Terry Tracey.
To view more of Terry's interesting signal box website click here

The L.N.W.R. took matters in hand after they had absorbed the Grand Junction Railway and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway with the construction of a new shed in 1864. The new shed had nineteen covered dead end roads and was located running east to west alongside the Liverpool to Manchester line and in the vee of the junction with the line to London. The standard L.N.W.R. coaling stage with water tank atop was provided along with two 42 feet turntables. The L.N.W.R. coded the shed as number 26 and responsibility for the small servicing shed at Liverpool Lime Street was given to the depot. The small four road depot was located behind platform 1 at Lime Street station and was equipped with a water tank a 50 feet diameter turntable and ash pits. Evidence of its existence is still visible today and the site is occupied by the train crew signing on point.

L.M.S. built Stanier Black 5 Class 4-6-0 number 44964 can be seen running into the depot looking rather grimy but sporting a rather clean 8A shed plate. The loco would be withdrawn from 8A during October 1967 and was despatched to Cashmores of Great Bridge being cut up during March 1968.18th September 1966.
Photo by Terry Tracey.
To view more of Terry's interesting signal box website click here

A map from the 1890's showing 8A and the maze of lines which surrounded it.

The 1908 map showing the 1902 enlargement of the shed and the through running this allowed on the top six roads.

In 1902 major expansion took place with the enlargement of the 1864 design effectively building a new shed to the rear of the existing.
 This new construction allowed the top six roads of the shed to be converted to through running. Locos entered at the west end and exited at the east then ran back to the west end via lines laid either side of the building. Further improvements took place in 1915 with a concrete mechanical coaling stage replacing the earlier and one of the turntables was replaced with a 60 foot version.

Stanier Black 5 Class 4-6-0 number 45284 stands awaiting the scrapman outside the now closed 8A shed. The loco had spent the previous 7 years allocated to Edge Hill and was withdrawn from there on the sheds closure. The end for the loco came with the cutters torch during August 1968.
June 1968.
Photo by Laurence Smith.
To view more of Laurence's Flickr photostream click here

With the creation of the 'Big Four' in 1923 Edge Hill came under the control of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. With this further improvements took place with rebuilding and modernisation of the building taking place. In the 1930's further rebuilding of the original shed took place with replacement of the roof and a new ash handling plant. The outbreak of the Second World War delayed plans for the replacement of the roof of the newer portion of the building, although this was completed when the war had ended.

The exit lane on the north side of the shed is clearly evident in this shot with the Liverpool to Manchester LNWR line running parallel to the shed. Withdrawn Black 5 Class 4-6-0 number 45284 awaits disposal.
June 1968.
Photo by Laurence Smith.
To view more of Laurence's Flickr photostream click here

The location of 8A shed today and taken from the same location as the above picture.
Photo by Clive Meredith.

With nationalisation in 1948 the shed continued as before not only supplying engines for the crack express services but shunting and freight engines. As early as 1959 large sections of the shed was earmarked for demolition even though the shed was still responsible for major repairs to locomotives within its area. Following natioanlisation the shed was recoded 8A. Becoming the 'A' shed in the district the shed was responsible for the heavy repairs from the other '8' sheds. With the introduction of diesel multiple units to the area the shed, with its ample facilities, started heavy repairs including engine changes. Although using the depots steam crane to facilitate the changing of the final drive shafts of the DMU must have been a little unothordox. This continued from the late 1950's until 1961 with the opening of the purpose built facilities at nearby Allerton. 

This plaque hung in the lobby at Edge Hill shed until its closure it was subsequently moved to Lime Street station and is now displayed on Platform 1. Driver J Ball and Fireman A Higgins were on the footplate of the 13:15 Liverpool to Euston express on 20th May 1937 when the smoke box deflector plate collapsed. This caused a blow back which turned their footplate into a furnace, both driver and fireman stayed at their post and safely stopped the engine. Unfortunately they were both seriously burned and they died the following day in hospital.
28th January 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.

Into the 1950's and 60's the shed was still a busy place and in 1950 it had an allocation of 112 locos. By 1959 this had grown to 124 with a selection of these being 13 Patriot Class 4-6-0, 11 Jubilee Class 4-6-0, 10 Royal Scot Class 4-6-0, 7 Princess Royal Class 4-6-2. At around this time the staffing levels at Edge Hill were also still healthy with 200 drivers, 150 firemen, 50 passed firemen, 100 cleaners and around 200 maintenance staff including fitters, turners and coppersmiths. By 1965 and with the rundown of steam well underway the shed had an allocation of only 50 locos and presumably the staffing levels had been reduced accordingly.

45156 Ayrshire Yeomanry at the head of 1T85 The Lancastrian Railtour from Liverpool Lime Street. The loco had been turned out in ex works condition by the staff at 8A.
20th April 1968.
Photo by Les Fifoot.

It wasn't until 1966 that work on the demolition of the oldest part of the shed took place. When this was completed a small servicing depot for diesels was constructed on the site of the locomotive yard. The steam shed survived until 6th May 1968 and along with the end of steam on British Railways the shed closed. The diesel servicing depot continued to be used until 6th June 1983 when this facility was transferred to nearby Allerton Depot. The site of the steam shed and diesel servicing point was subsequently levelled and lay unused for several years. Since the early 1990's the site has been redeveloped with the construction of a Technology Park and the only link with the past now is the name of the roadways serving the new park.

The site of 8A after demolition the only evidence to tie in with any photographs is the single yard light left standing. Engine Shed Junction box is visible, now closed and awaiting demolition.
January 1984.
Photo by Laurence Smith.
To view Laurence's Flickr photostream click here

Further Information and used for reference.

Shed Side on Merseyside - The last days of Steam by Kenn Pearce.

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