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.