The 8D Association




Allerton Depot visit.
14th December 2013.

The group all decked out in orange his vis with the main depot building in the background.

On 14th December the 8 D Association were kindly given a tour of the facilities of Northern Trains at their Allerton Depot. The depot was taken over by Northern two years ago from EWS/DB Schenker and has been extensively refurbished. Currently servicing a small allocation of Class 156 Super Sprinters a major building programme is in the pipeline to allow the depot to service the 'new' electric traction which will be used on the Liverpool to Manchester line. 


John Dillon giving a brief overview of the functions carried out at the depot.


The depot allocation board.

John Dillon was our guide for the day and he started by showing us a selection of before and after pictures to show how the depot had been transformed from a neglected facility to the pristine one it is today. We then moved through to the servicing facility which is equipped to deal with 'A' and 'B' exams and we could see first hand the small team of fitters working on a Class 156 Super Sprinter. Moving along through the shed we were able to inspect the chassis wash and move through to the three roads where the deep cleaning of another Class 156 was underway.


156482 receives attention from the fitters as John tells members of the group what tasks can be carried out here. The Sprinter is standing on one of the widened pits which allows better access to components.


The under chassis wash bay.


156491 was in the shed receiving a deep clean the pits on this side of the depot are in as was condition.

Although there were only two units to be viewed John gave us a real sense of how busy the depot does get when trains arrive after their days work and how they are dealt with. We moved outside and were shown the relaid sidings between the depot and the Allerton Chord which have been relaid and re ballasted to a very high standard mainly using bullhead rail. There was an opportunity to photograph a working along the chord line before moving on to the wheel lathe.


Les Fifoot takes a seat to gain a shot of 156482.


Safety of the staff working on the units is paramount and each member of the team can be identified by the tag which they attach to the not to be moved sign.

The wheel lathe and its building originated from B.R. days having been erected in the 1980's it was still in use when EWS occupied the site. Inside the building there was a series of photographs showing the poor state of the lathe and the interior of the building when the depot was taken over by Northern. The actual pit that the lathe stands in was filled to around ¾ full with water and the state of the interior of the building left a lot to be desired. Now transformed and fully operational it is a credit to the depot and to the staff who had worked so hard on the project. Currently their are only two operatives qualified to use the lathe but there are plans to increase their numbers. There was also an interesting shunter in the building to move vehicles in and out as they require attention.


The exterior of the building where serviced units emerge to be stabled. The high standard of the track relaying is evident as is the lack of any weeds.


Joe Cowley inspects the safety equipment outside the shed.

We would like to extend our thanks to John and his team for the attention they gave us during our visit.


The wheel lathe, now fully operational after being refurbished.


The shunter for moving vehicles into the wheel lathe for tyre turning. Note the fluffy dice.






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