BOX SET INCLUDES –
Volume 1 Depot Laira
Laira Depot, Plymouth, opened in 1901 was for 60 years the famed centre of operations in the southwest for the GWR’s steam fleet. Well removed from London and its labour problems, Laira was selected in l961as BR Western Region’s first main diesel maintenance depot and was completely rebuilt. During the 1980s, it became one of BR’s ten ‘Level 5’ depots, undertaking the heaviest overhauls and today, besides maintaining its own allocation, it services locomotives from depots near and far as part of BR’s Component Exchange Maintenance Programme.
Depot Laira looks at the work of the 400 strong workforce, whose charges at that time include a fleet of IC 125s and Class 50s, which make light work of the notorious South Devon banks, and the regions traditional China clay traffic. This video shows the locomotives at work on mainlines and branches, and undergoing servicing and repair at Laira.
Volume 2 Depot Stratford
Built by the Eastern Countries Railway as far back as 1841, Stratford, in London’s East End, is one of the oldest established locomotive works and traction depots on the BR system. Over 150 years, Stratford enjoyed mixed fortunes. Well into the twentieth century, demand for both construction and maintenance repeatedly outstripped facilities available, and both Works and Depot became an intermingled hotch-potch of outgrown Victorian buildings.
Depot: Stratford traces this fascinating story and surveys a vibrant Traction Repair shop, the Maintenance Depot alongside and its 110 strong fleet of locomotives at work in 1990. (Since closure of Stratford Depot in 1991 this video has become an important historic record.
Volume 3 Depot Scotrail
In March 1989, British Rail’s sectorisation policy made it possible to bring together responsibility for the entire freight fleet based in central Scotland – including locomotives and BR – owned wagons. The new post of Area Fleet Manager (Freight), based at Eastfield in Glasgow, now also has charge of the depots at Motherwell, Ayr, Millerhill, Grangemouth Thornton and Perth. Depot: Scotrail looks at these widely differing depots and the traffic their locomotives service, taking in some impressive and little-known locations in districts such as the resurgent Ayrshire coalfield.
The much delayed introduction of the Class 158 Sprinter Expresses meant that locomotives, particularly from Eastfield itself, continued on regular passenger work, and this activity, now part of history, is well represented in the programme. The bringing together of the group of depots, each with its own history, traditions and special skills, makes for a scene of particular variety and interest. Decline in one area is being counterbalanced by growth in another and this volume of the ‘Depot’ series provides an invaluable ‘snapshot’ of Central Scotrail at the start of the 1990s.