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London Midland & Scottish Railway Derby Locomotive Works

The Midland Railway Co, formed by Act of Parliament on 10 May 1844, brought together three railway companies which had received the Royal Assent in 1836. The three railways, all terminating at Derby, were the Birmingham & Derby Junction Railway, the Midland Counties Railway and the North Midland Railway. From this date the sheds and workshops of the North Midland and Midland Counties companies now formed the basis of what was to become the Midland Railway's Derby Locomotive Works.

Upon the company's formation Matthew Kirtley became the Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent, and he persuaded the Board that there were inadequate facilities at Derby to meet the requirements of an ever expanding railway. To this end a second roundhouse accommodating 16 locomotives was built in 1847, further workshops and repair facilities were added and by 1851 there was sufficient capacity for new locomotive construction to begin. The first locomotive built was a single-framed 0-6-0 goods engine, No 147, followed by many more new engines in addition to a number of 'rebuilds'. A further four-road roundhouse was added in 1852, this expansion continuing into the 1860s with the addition of more mess rooms and more workshops.

Before his death in 1873, Kirtley had masterminded another plan for expanding the building capacity at Derby Works. Prominent in his plans was the separation of the Carriage and Wagon Department, 50 acres of land being set aside for this purpose on the opposite side of the London main line. These structures were in operation by July 1877 under the management of Thomas Clayton, who had been appointed as Carriage and Wagon Superintendent in July 1873.

Upon the death of Matthew Kirtley in May 1873, he was succeeded by Samuel Waite Johnson who was appointed Locomotive Superintendent in July 1873. His task was to reorganise the Locomotive Department of the Midland Railway and to provide better accommodation for his staff and the locomotives right across the system. With the addition of new workshops at Derby many more new locomotives were built, the Midland still having to rely on contractors, but to a lesser degree. By 1890 locomotive accommodation was beginning to prove a problem so a fourth and much larger shed was opened. This rectangular construction comprised two turntables with 22 stabling roads radiating from each. This extra building was necessary because the existing North Midland shed was being used for repair work and the shed of 1847 was being used to house spare engines. Johnson was not a man easily converted to revolutionary ideas, but preferred to wait patiently until such time as developments ensured his success. In particular, this was the case with steam brakes, steam and automatic brake combined and later the train heating apparatus. This same logic also applied to Johnson's re-introduction of the single driver. No single driver locomotives had been built by the Midland since 1866, but after some unofficial experimentation by the District Locomotive Superintendent at Leicester, Johnson's next batch of five singles was turned out between June and August 1887. These locomotives had driving wheels of 7ft 4in diameter, the largest used on Midland main line locomotives. These were a great success with Johnson embarking on a building programme which continued up until 1900.

Retiring at the end of 1903, Johnson was succeeded by Richard Mountford Deeley, who took office at the beginning of 1904. Unlike his predecessors, Deeley had worked his way up through the ranks. The first locomotives turned out by him were simply further orders and rebuilds of earlier Johnson types with large boilers being fitted to many of the earlier passenger tender engine classes. The year 1905 saw the first of Deeley's modified compounds, this being No 1000, which was turned out in October.

Following Deeley's somewhat controversial resignation in August 1909, Henry Fowler made his entrance as the first CME (and also tbe last) in January 1910.

During World War 1, Derby Works played an important role in the supply of munitions. Work undertaken was the renovation of cartridge cases, Howitzer cradles and numerous other pieces of equipment including special machinery for the Railway Transport Expeditionary Force.

Upon the Grouping in 1923, the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) was formed, an organisation which embraced not only the Midland, but also such former rivals as the London & North Western Railway, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the North Staffordshire Railway together with lines in the north and smaller lines in the south. Within this new organisation, Derby Works became an important centre. On 1 January 1923 the LMS took over 10,316 locomotives of no fewer than 393 different types. This led to the development and introduction of 14 standard types which appeared before the appointment of William Arthur Stanier as CME in 1932. Of these, four classes of Midland engine were adopted as standard. These were the compound 4-4-0s, the superheated Class 2 4-4-0s, the 0-6-0 Class 4 tender engines and the 0-6-0 Class 3F tank engines.

With the arrival of Stanier in 1932, there was a turning point in LMS locomotive design. The reign of the Midland's small engine policy had come to an end and to Stanier's great credit, he was to renew almost all of the LMS 'first string' locomotive fleet within the next eight years.

Following the surrender of France in World War 2, Derby shops had to be hurriedly reorganised to cope with the increased demand for aircraft components, which included new wings for Hurricane and Typhoon fighter aircraft. Later in the war work began on fuselage repairs for Whitley, Hampden and Lancaster bombers, these often coming straight from RAF depots. With the urgent need for additional motive power during the war years, many older locomotives were reprieved and given repairs to prolong their economic life.

On the 1 January 1948, the four main line groups of railways were 'Nationalised', and Derby Works found themselves competing with other works scattered throughout the rest of the British Railways system.

By 1952 Derby had turned out its first batch of ten Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4 tank engines, although 5 December 1947 saw Derby's first main line diesel-electric locomotive leave the shops. The production of this locomotive, No 10000, had been a collaborative project between the LMS and English Electric companies. No 10000 made its first run to London on 16 December 1947 and a second unit, No 10001, entered service on 10 July 1948.

Steam locomotive construction ended at Derby in June 1957 when BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 No 73154 was completed, bringing the total number of steam locomotives built to 2,995. The last steam locomotive to be repaired at Derby, Standard Class 4 4-6-0 No 75042, left the works under its own power on 20 September 1963.

By 1967 Derby Works had built their last diesel locomotive, Class 25 No D7677 and by 1988 Classified repairs of diesel locomotives came to an end.

Route: A footbridge leads to the works from the yard outside Derby Midland Station.

Alternate route: Turn right outside the station into Siddals Road and first right along a private road. This leads under the railway to the works entrance.

Walking time 5 minutes.
Ordnance Survey Grid Reference - SK36403560
View Location with Multimap

Map Scale 10000 : Map Scale 25000


Last Updated : Friday 13th June 2003 17:51

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