A guide to the fate of Sheds in Great Britain.



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.