The Engine Shed Society specialises in the subject of Motive Power Depots.

The Society for people interested in sites which are, or have been, used for the construction, maintenance or stabling of rail transport.

The Engine Shed Society specialises in the interests of enthusiasts for all  aspects of sheds and related structures.

Our scope covers those places which are, or have been used, for the construction, maintenance or stabling of any rail borne transport.  We are interested in the current scene, historical and heritage matters. This remit includes the provision of the transport service as well as the infrastructure.

Members receive a quarterly journal LINK, access to the Society's archive of photographs, plans, maps and site records, and can attend an annual meeting which often features a location not normally open to the public.

In its early days the ESS focused primarily, but not exclusively, on the then neglected task of recording the fate of the former steam sheds of BR and its predecessors. A great deal has been achieved and documented in our journal LINK. The Society’s interests are now broader and include depot operations, public and private, as well as infrastructure for all types of rail traction. There is always more that can be recorded of these aspects of the current scene, or shared from personal historical records. We invite, and do our best to support, the participation of members in presenting information about the places which support rail borne transport.

LINK quarterly magazine

LINK includes well researched historical articles, news of shed sites, and a balance between steam, diesel, electric and other forms of traction throughout the UK (and occasionally overseas).

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Annual General Meeting

The annual meeting often includes a site visit to a facility not normally open to the public.

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ESS Archive

An active archive is available to members and holds photographic collections, maps, plans and other artefacts.

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Access to members' knowledge

Engine Shed Society members include experts in many aspects of this field, including published authors and those who have contributed to the body of knowledge by, for example, exploring sites, research into particular sheds or aspects of shed operation. Members are usually happy to share information and LINK provides a mechanism for asking questions.

How do I join the ESS?

To join the ESS, please download both pages of the leaflet below, print the two pages, fill in the application form and interests box, and send your copy of both pages with your cheque to the Membership Secretary:
Tony Skinner
23 Metcalfe Street
Tel: 01228 494 182 or 07905 464 193

Please contact the Membership Secretary if you need any help with the application process.

Membership is on an annual basis and includes all the relevant copies of LINK.

What is the annual subscription rate?

The ESS strives to keep subscriptions at a low level but welcomes additional donations.   The current subscription is £12.

Are there any discounts available for Seniors or others?

No, sorry.

How do I contact the Committee members?


Our President is Nick Pigott and our Chairman is Roger Butcher.

Our Secretary can be contacted by email at:   Written correspondence should be addressed to

Phil Mackie
36 Kevington Drive
St Paul's Cray
BR5 2 NU.

Our Membership Secretary can be contacted by e-mail at  Written correspondence should be addressed to:

Tony Skinner
23 Metcalfe Street,
Denton Holme
Telephone: 07368 999 676.
For articles etc. for Link magazine please contact the Editor and Publisher Paul Smith at

For comments, information and questions relating to "The Good Shed Guide" please contact:-

Philip Stuart
8, Brenda Court
Granville Road
DA14 4DR
or by e-mail to

Our Treasurer can be contacted by email at

Our Archivist and Webmaster can be contacted by email at

Is the Society only interested in steam sheds?

No.   The ESS covers steam, diesel and electric sheds from all eras.   This includes coverage of depots for new franchise fleets, and for heritage railways. 
  • 36 Kevington Drive, St Paul's Cray, Orpington, BR5 2NU.
  • Please see F.A.Qs. to contact other ESS Officers or join.

A guide to the fate of Sheds in Great Britain.

Compiled by Philip Stuart, with help from the research of Dave McGuire, Paul Smith, the late Stephen Bull and other site explorers. Completely revised and updated by Philip Stuart during 2020.

The Society’s original objective was to establish what had happened to BR’s engine sheds and sub-sheds. Visiting and photographing all of the sites took until the end of 1999 and by then it was clear that there were numerous surviving sheds that had closed before nationalisation. With many of the BR sites obliterated by landscaping, housing developments or merely station car parks, the focus shifted to listing the visible remains of any sheds. The Good Shed Guide was initially compiled in 2004.  It was up-dated fairly regularly until 2017, but then lapsed.

Long in need of a thorough overhaul, the Guide was completely revised and updated in late 2020 as an Excel spreadsheet.  This means the list can be reshuffled in various ways, placing the sites in alphabetical order, in a rough geographical sequence, or sorted to suit a visitor who only wishes to visit surviving buildings, or only BR sites, etc.  The Society is grateful to Philip Stuart for this complete overhaul.

Part 1 - Main line steam sheds

rGSG1.xlsx [286 entries, including 23 narrow gauge]

Part One aims to list all historic main line steam shed sites where some remains may be visible. It takes the form of an Excel spreadsheet that can be sorted to enable potential visitors to make their own selection of worthwhile sites.

A Shed names in alphabetical order is the default layout.

B Lists sites in receding order as BRm (main coded sheds), BRs (sub-sheds, including Departmental Sheds), GB4 (Grouped Big Four, closed 1923-48) and pre-G (pre-Grouping, closed before 1923).

Nine surviving diesel or electric depots no longer in use are also listed as BRd/e.

C Lists sites by geographical area, according to the BR numerical codes in use in 1960, with conjectural codes (suffix x) for sheds closed earlier.

D Lists sites according to the nature of the visible remains:

a Shed buildings still in rail use [38]

a1 as running sheds on heritage lines (18)

a2 in other use on heritage lines (4)

a3 as locomotive or multiple unit depots on the national network (12)

a4 in other use on the national network (4)

b Shed buildings no longer in rail use [76]

b1 restored or refurbished (16)

b2 in commercial use (48)

b3 disused or derelict (12)

c Shed buildings disguised by extensions, cladding, or re-roofing [31]

c1 substantially complete (23)

c2 fragmentary (8)

d Ancillary remains [28]

d1 repair shops (8)

d2 office blocks, coal ramps, water tanks, turntables, etc (20)

e Fragmentary remains of shed walls [53]

e1 full height (23)

e2 reduced height (30)

f Ground level remains [51]

f1 shed floors (37)

f2 turntable pits (14)

E Number of roads (rh for roundhouses)

F Separates standard and narrow gauge sites.

G Notes on the remains.

H Notes on status and location.

I References in LINK (p = includes photo)

Part 2 - Tracked buildings on Heritage Lines

rGSG2.xlsx [267 entries, including 120 narrow gauge]

Part Two aims to list all tracked buildings on heritage lines. Those of fifteen inch gauge and wider are included, apart from some at theme parks, plus a few narrower gauge lines.

Note that many of the buildings are multi-purpose or have changed use over the years, so the distinctions made in columns F-J should not be regarded as definitive. Similarly many dates in column K are approximate as limited financial resources often meant that construction was very protracted.

A Railway names in alphabetical order is the default layout

B Shed name

C Separates standard and narrow gauge sites.

D Lists sites by geographical area, according to notional BR numerical codes in use in 1960.

E Original or Replica style of at least one building - otherwise utilitarian or adapted from buildings of non-rail origin.

F Running shed

G Workshop

H Carriage shed (includes some tram depots)

I Storage shed

J Museum

K Notes including dates

Part 3 - Miscellaneous Industrial and ther sheds

rGSG3.xlsx[61 entries, including 10 narrow gauge]

Part Three is a supplement covering surviving industrial and other sheds not already noted in GSGG 1 or GSG2. There are probably many omissions and any additional information would be welcome.

A Shed names in alphabetical order is the default layout

B Location

C Grid Reference

D Purpose: Colliery, Industrial, Military, Other, Quarrying, Transport

E Separates standard and narrow gauge sites

F Number of roads

G Dates in use (approximate)

H Present status

I Photographs in “Industrial Railway Locomotive Sheds” (Adrian Booth)

J References in LINK

To reshuffle the entries in alphabetical or numerical order highlight a letter at the top of a column, click on “Data”, then “Sort”.

DISCLAIMER: inclusion in this guide is no guarantee that sites are accessible or that access is permitted. Some are on private property. Those in woodland are best visited in autumn or winter - at other times photography and even access may be difficult. Ground level remains are particularly liable to be lost through re-development or by disappearing as nature encroaches. Information is based on the most recent site reports by ESS members - a number of sites not visited for ten years or more have been deleted where aerial photography suggests that nothing now remains to be seen.

Compiled by Philip Stuart with thanks to all those who have investigated and reported on GSG1 sites, particularly Dave McGuire, Paul Smith and the late Stephen Bull.

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Books of interest

This list of books is under construction.

The Midland Railway in Nottingham - by C J Perkins and R Padgett, published privately by ESS member Jim Perkins.
Volume 1    1839 - 1907    Buildings, Locomotives and Men (ISBN 0-9539878-0-9) 144pp 48 b&w photos.
Volume 2    1908 - 1947    Decades of Change (ISBN 0-9539878-1-7) 160pp 125 b&w photos.
Volume 3    1948 - 1999    From Steam to Diesel (ISBN 0-9539878-2-5) 130pp 188 b&w photos.
Available from:- Jim Perkins, 17 Rufford Road, Ruddington, Notts, NG11 6FT. e-mail 

The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points
Volume 1 - Southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia & Wales
by Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith. Published 1999 by Oxford Publishing Co.
ISBN 0 86093 542 6

The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points
Volume 2 - North Midlands, North England & Scotland
by Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith. Published 2000 by Oxford Publishing Co.
ISBN 0 86093 548 5

For those owners of copies of the excellent two-volume publication "The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points", the authors, Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith, have completed the 2nd Supplement with updates and additional material. This 20 page booklet is in the same format as previous publications with maps and photographs, and it is planned that this will be the final output from the authors regarding this topic.  

Supplement No. 2 is published by the Engine Shed Society and is available by post (UK) for £4.99 plus £1 P&P. Members of the ESS are entitled to £1 discount (i.e. £3.99 plus £1 P&P).  Please send a cheque made out to the Engine Shed Society to Paul Smith, The Annexe, 185 Heathfield Road, Redditch, B97 5RG. Telephone and e-mail enquiries can be sent to 07786 361 063 or  to respectively.

British Steam Motive Power Depots - LMR
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1981
ISBN 0 7110 1019 6

British Steam Motive Power Depots - ER
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1982
ISBN 0 7110 1193 1

British Steam Motive Power Depots - SR
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1983
ISBN 0 7110 1274 1

British Steam Motive Power Depots - WR
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1983
ISBN 0 7110 1311 X

British Steam Motive Power Depots - ScR
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1983
ISBN 0 7110 1248 2

British Steam Motive Power Depots - NER
by Paul Bolger. Published by Ian Allan 1984
ISBN 0 7110 1362 4

Great Western Engine Sheds 1837 - 1947
by E Lyons & E Mountford. Published by Oxford Publishing Company 1979
ISBN 86093 019 X

Gone With Remembrance

A list of Great Western Railway Locomotive Firemen and Cleaners who fell in the
Great War (1914-1918)


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The Railway Magazine - Britain’s best-selling general rail title - by far!!

Barrow Hill RoundhouseBluebell Railway
Bodmin & Wenford RailwayBo'ness & Kinneil Railway
Buckinghamshire Railway CentreCaledonian Railway
Chasewater Light RailwayCrich Tramway Village
Chinnor & Princes Risborough RailwayCholsey & Wallingford Railway
Churnet Valley RailwayColne Valley Railway
Coventry Railway CentreDean Forest Railway 
Didcot Railway CentreEast Anglian Railway Museum
East Kent RailwayEast Lancashire Railway
East Somerset RailwayEmbsay & Bolton Abbey Railway
Ffestiniog RailwayGloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Great Central RailwayGwili Railway
Keighley & Worth Valley RailwayKent and East Sussex Railway
Lakeside & Haverthwaite RailwayLavender Line
Llangollen RailwayLincolnshire Wolds Railway
Middleton RailwayMangapps Railway Museum
Mid Hants Railway/Watercress LineMid Norfolk Railway
Midland Railway ButterleyMuseum of Science & Industry
National Railway MuseumNene Valley Railway
North Norfolk RailwayNorth Yorkshire Moors Railway
Northampton & Lamport RailwayNottingham Transport Heritage Centre
Paignton & Dartmouth RailwayPeak Rail
Pontypool & Blaenavon RailwayPlym Valley Railway
Rutland Railway MuseumSevern Valley Railway
Shackerstone Railway/Battlefield LineSouth Devon Railway
Strathspey RailwaySwanage Railway
Swindon & Cricklade RailwayTyseley Locomotive Works
West Somerset Railway 
Railway Correspondence & Travel SocietyUK Heritage Railwaysge Railways - Full Listing and Details
Gorton Loco Works and MPDFrixo - Frixo is a road traffic reporting site which may be a useful resource for enthusiasts. It provides users with live traffic information and gets updated every 3 minutes using various road sensors.
Railways in Worcestershire - Has an excellent section on Worcestershire Engine ShedsChris Ward's Annesley Website - Excellent site detailing Chris's firing days, with a good selection of photographs
Newton-le-Willows & Earlestown - An excellent site relating to the history of these works
Old Maps On Line for Shed Site Searches:
1 Old Maps - an excellent resource offering four historical mapping dates
2 New Popular Edition Maps -OS maps from the 1940's
Old Ordnance Survey Maps - OS maps from the 1920/30's with modern overlay
Branch Line Britain - Superb Site - gives information about Britain's railway branch lines, plus other minor railway lines in Britain, including history, stations, places of interest and journey reviews

LINK Magazine

A sample copy of LINK to download..