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At Southall Depot Then & Now


We had an email arrive from an ex Southall Depot fireman recently. It read: “Hello, just been reading in "News" about one of your trips in 2008. I was very amused looking at one of the photos of a Southern loco being prepared at Southall, at all the huge weeds growing around the track! A sight I'd never have seen when I was based there as a fireman in the early 60s! Not because we were tidier, just that the weeds would never have stood a chance to grow :-)


As a matter of interest, I wonder how the specials route through from Southall to the London Main line Stations like Victoria, Waterloo etc these days. Is the route via Kensington Olympia via N. Pole junction still open, I had a feeling the link was removed some time ago!


Good Luck & best regards


ex fireman Dave"


I hope that Dave continues reading the news up to the present day, because he will see in the more recent photos that the depot has been tidied up a lot since Derek Cross was put in charge. Over the last couple of years he has managed to get the majority of the rubbish and rubble removed and the weeds under control. The trackwork has been tidied up and maintained where necessary, and the pits are now clear of rubbish, ash and the debris of decades of disuse. It’s still incongruous to see a Southern Engine (No. 30777 "Sir Lamiel") in a Western shed, but at least there’s still steam at Southall.


Onto the other question in his email: the route from Southall to the Main Line Stations varies depending on which station and whether or not the train needs turning. Because we need to leave the depot during one of the few windows of opportunity where we can get out across the main line, we often end up laying over at Willesden Sidings for an hour or so, then continue into London, very often past Kensington Olympia and North Pole Depot, but we occasionally take other, more circuitous routes depending on operational necessity.

 

By Info | Tuesday, April 5, 2011 | Tags : 30777


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