Shed directory: Recommendations please

shawmat

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Is there a "definitive" work - or as near definitive as possible - on engine sheds over time to the present day (or nearly)? Ideally with the main facts arranged as tables for easy reference rather than narrative.

Locations
Dates operational (from and to)
Codes used (from and to)
Sub-shed relationships
Railway companies associated.

It could be a book, a website etc. I have various books where shed data is ancillary to the main purpose:
  • Roger Harris's allocation histories have sheds from 1948 to about 2015.
  • https://www.brdatabase.info/ seems quite good as an online source but it ignores the privatised railway, and doesn't handle sub-sheds consistently
  • Various Ian Allan shed directories - these are snapshots in time
  • The Engine Shed Society publishes spreadsheets about what became of most sheds
I could piece all this together for my needs but would like to find out if someone has done the work before.

What would you recommend?
 
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Gloster

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There is a site called Shed Bash UK which might be worth a look to see if it is of use. Story, I can’t do a link, but putting the title into google (other search engines are available) should find it.
 

shawmat

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There is a site called Shed Bash UK which might be worth a look to see if it is of use. Story, I can’t do a link, but putting the title into google (other search engines are available) should find it.
It's a series of snapshots of what was on shed on certain days over an extended period of the 50s and 60s, and is fascinating for that. (I'm guessing it is probably one person's sightings.) It doesn't attempt to be a shed directory, but is interesting and useful nonetheless - thanks.
 

Albaman

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At the Burton Railway Collectors' Fair a few years ago I bought a second hand copy of " The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points :2 - North Midlands, Northern England and Scotland " by Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith.

The book was published by OPC in 2000. There was also an edition covering the remainder of thre UK though I don't have a copy. However, the spreadsheets prepared by the Engine Shed Society to which you refer, may have covered the information in these books.
 

shawmat

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At the Burton Railway Collectors' Fair a few years ago I bought a second hand copy of " The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points :2 - North Midlands, Northern England and Scotland " by Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith.

The book was published by OPC in 2000. There was also an edition covering the remainder of thre UK though I don't have a copy. However, the spreadsheets prepared by the Engine Shed Society to which you refer, may have covered the information in these books.
That looks very promising. It quick search suggest Volume 1 covers "Southern England, Midlands, East Anglia, and Wales". There is also a Supplement, presumably of corrections, dated 2006.
 

grumpyxch

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There is a small problem (I think) with the https://www.brdatabase.info/ in that it has a shed at Southend Central which it states is on the LT&SR line (even the map they use with it indicates it is on the LT&SR) but the database says its code is 30D. Now Area 30 was on the Great Eastern lines (London Liverpool Street out towards Ipswich and Norwich), and 30A is Stratford, which suggests to me that 30D would be at Southend Victoria (which is Great Eastern). Also, all the other sheds on the LT&SR were Area 33 (33A Plaistow, 33B Tilbury, & 33C Shoeburyness). I have emailed them twice about this but have had no reaction (no agreement, no denial, no correction, nothing).

I'm not complaining there is an error. With all databases, there are likely to be errors, but if you try to help them when you find suspect info, they could at least reply. After all, it might be me that is wrong, but at least I've tried to be constructive for them.

I've just been back to brdatabase, and my story (see above) needs tweaking. The database names the shed as Southend on Sea, rather than Southend Central, and the maps don't appear to work now, but when they did, the arrow on this one pointed to Southend Central station. It does state it is 30D. It does state it was LT&SR. The database does have Southend Victoria named as a shed, but gives it the code 30A (same as Stratford), so that would be a second error. The database also states both sheds closed on the same day (co-incidence?).

There was at one time a shed at Southend Central but I believe this shed closed somewhere about 1880 when Shoeburyness opened. The land the Southend Central shed was on was needed at that time to expand Central station, which is one reason why the Shoeburyness shed was built.

I wonder if they are not supporting this database anymore.
 
Last edited:

shawmat

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There is a small problem (I think) with the https://www.brdatabase.info/ in that it has a shed at Southend Central which it states is on the LT&SR line (even the map they use with it indicates it is on the LT&SR) but the database says its code is 30D. Now Area 30 was on the Great Eastern lines (London Liverpool Street out towards Ipswich and Norwich), and 30A is Stratford, which suggests to me that 30D would be at Southend Victoria (which is Great Eastern). Also, all the other sheds on the LT&SR were Area 33 (33A Plaistow, 33B Tilbury, & 33C Shoeburyness). I have emailed them twice about this but have had no reaction (no agreement, no denial, no correction, nothing).

I'm not complaining there is an error. With all databases, there are likely to be errors, but if you try to help them when you find suspect info, they could at least reply. After all, it might be me that is wrong, but at least I've tried to be constructive for them.

I've just been back to brdatabase, and my story (see above) needs tweaking. The database names the shed as Southend on Sea, rather than Southend Central, and the maps don't appear to work now, but when they did, the arrow on this one pointed to Southend Central station. It does state it is 30D. It does state it was LT&SR. The database does have Southend Victoria named as a shed, but gives it the code 30A (same as Stratford), so that would be a second error. The database also states both sheds closed on the same day (co-incidence?).

There was at one time a shed at Southend Central but I believe this shed closed somewhere about 1880 when Shoeburyness opened. The land the Southend Central shed was on was needed at that time to expand Central station, which is one reason why the Shoeburyness shed was built.

I wonder if they are not supporting this database anymore.
It is difficult to discern whether the brdatabase project is still being maintained. Its scope was BR, and never intended to cover the privatised railway, so it is becoming stale anyway.

But some features were never completed, or don't now work. There are serious data errors that never get fixed: for instance, TOPS Class 13 (Tinsley hump shunters) has Class 08s mixed in - wherever those shunters sported a 13xxx number from the pre-TOPS era. Basic stuff that undermines what otherwise should be a good source.

I was briefly in touch in December with Ian Jenkins who runs/ran the brdatabase project, offering to collaborate and help fix. An initial exchange of emails never went anywhere, which was a shame.
 

grumpyxch

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Yes Shawmat, I agree. We can offer to help, but if Mr Jenkins wont let us, then a good database will go to waste. Is the problem age is catching up on him; is it the cost of keeping the database live? If he wont say, it is difficult to help. All his work and that data at risk

Having tried it and found the map connection from brdatabase doesn't work, or at least not in the way it used to, I tried one, then copied the www.etc part of the error message, and pasted that into the top of Google (the URL line?). I not only was able to get the map, but it included the arrow that pointed to the location of where the engine shed used to be.

Hopefully, that doesn't upset Mr Jenkins.

I keep being scolded by the system for thinking having sent one message, if I need to send more, I should send a completely new one. However it seems if no other members have replied and I want to send another message, I should edit my most recent post. I apologise to the forum for my mistakes
 
Last edited:

D1001

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Yes Shawmat, I agree. We can offer to help, but if Mr Jenkins wont let us, then a good database will go to waste. Is the problem age is catching up on him; is it the cost of keeping the database live? If he wont say, it is difficult to help. All his work and that data at risk

Having tried it and found the map connection from brdatabase doesn't work, or at least not in the way it used to, I tried one, then copied the www.etc part of the error message, and pasted that into the top of Google (the URL line?). I not only was able to get the map, but it included the arrow that pointed to the location of where the engine shed used to be.

Hopefully, that doesn't upset Mr Jenkins.

I keep being scolded by the system for thinking having sent one message, if I need to send more, I should send a completely new one. However it seems if no other members have replied and I want to send another message, I should edit my most recent post. I apologise to the forum for my mistakes

As the creator and owner of brdatabase, I can assure you that age hasn't caught up with me yet! The problem has mainly been that I have other things that occupy my time - family, work, other interests. I know it (brdatabase) can be an incoherent mess but it is my incoherent mess and I'm not very good at delegating so I tend not to get other people involved (I'm diagnosed ADD, which is ADHD without the 'H' !!!). I'm always on the lookout for new data and for corrections to existing data but I am so busy with other things that the database has been somewhat sidelined in recent years.
Any problems with the database and I would implore you to let me know and I will put it on my (very long) todo list.

I am working on brdatabase at the moment but maybe not quite what you would expect ...

It is difficult to discern whether the brdatabase project is still being maintained. Its scope was BR, and never intended to cover the privatised railway, so it is becoming stale anyway.

But some features were never completed, or don't now work. There are serious data errors that never get fixed: for instance, TOPS Class 13 (Tinsley hump shunters) has Class 08s mixed in - wherever those shunters sported a 13xxx number from the pre-TOPS era. Basic stuff that undermines what otherwise should be a good source.

I was briefly in touch in December with Ian Jenkins who runs/ran the brdatabase project, offering to collaborate and help fix. An initial exchange of emails never went anywhere, which was a shame.
The issue with the 13's is that I haven't come up with a simple solution that handles a very small number of locos (6) that have been rebuilt and combined into a new class of 3 that fits in with a relational database model. I'll think about it!
 

Bevan Price

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There is a small problem (I think) with the https://www.brdatabase.info/ in that it has a shed at Southend Central which it states is on the LT&SR line (even the map they use with it indicates it is on the LT&SR) but the database says its code is 30D. Now Area 30 was on the Great Eastern lines (London Liverpool Street out towards Ipswich and Norwich), and 30A is Stratford, which suggests to me that 30D would be at Southend Victoria (which is Great Eastern). Also, all the other sheds on the LT&SR were Area 33 (33A Plaistow, 33B Tilbury, & 33C Shoeburyness). I have emailed them twice about this but have had no reaction (no agreement, no denial, no correction, nothing).

I'm not complaining there is an error. With all databases, there are likely to be errors, but if you try to help them when you find suspect info, they could at least reply. After all, it might be me that is wrong, but at least I've tried to be constructive for them.

I've just been back to brdatabase, and my story (see above) needs tweaking. The database names the shed as Southend on Sea, rather than Southend Central, and the maps don't appear to work now, but when they did, the arrow on this one pointed to Southend Central station. It does state it is 30D. It does state it was LT&SR. The database does have Southend Victoria named as a shed, but gives it the code 30A (same as Stratford), so that would be a second error. The database also states both sheds closed on the same day (co-incidence?).

There was at one time a shed at Southend Central but I believe this shed closed somewhere about 1880 when Shoeburyness opened. The land the Southend Central shed was on was needed at that time to expand Central station, which is one reason why the Shoeburyness shed was built.

I wonder if they are not supporting this database anymore.
A lot of "Great Eastern" sheds in the London suburban area were classed as sub-sheds of Stratford (30A), with no separate code, but Hugh Longworth's book of BR Steam Loco Allocations 1948/1968 shows Southend Victoria (GE) shed as 30D - from when the LMS style of shed codes was extended to all regions in about 1950 until the shed closed.

Shoeburyness (LMSR 13C then BR 33C) was the steam shed for the Southend area of the LT&SR in the BR steam age.
 

D1001

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A lot of "Great Eastern" sheds in the London suburban area were classed as sub-sheds of Stratford (30A), with no separate code, but Hugh Longworth's book of BR Steam Loco Allocations 1948/1968 shows Southend Victoria (GE) shed as 30D - from when the LMS style of shed codes was extended to all regions in about 1950 until the shed closed.

Shoeburyness (LMSR 13C then BR 33C) was the steam shed for the Southend area of the LT&SR in the BR steam age.
The Railway Observer published an appendix to the 1948 magazines which confirms 30D as Southend Victoria. It's probably where Longworth got his information from. Harris also agrees BTW - he also shows the shed progressing to be a subshed of Stratford in 12/56.
 

grumpyxch

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Can someone do me a favour please. Earlier in this chain of posts I indicated that I had tried to tell Mr Jenkins (the owner of the BR Database data) that I thought there was an error affecting info on the sheds at Southend On Sea and Southend Victoria. Mr Jenkins contacted me recently and told me he had corrected the database, and asked if I would check and confirm. Unfortunately, whatever I do to my pc (refresh, cache clear, etc) I still get the old data. Would one of you please google BR Database, look at the list of sheds, and let this post know whether they see Southend Victoria as being 30A or 30D. This might confirm whether Mr Jenkins edit was successful or not, or it might confirm I have a problem with my pc.

Thanks very much
 

Darandio

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Can someone do me a favour please. Earlier in this chain of posts I indicated that I had tried to tell Mr Jenkins (the owner of the BR Database data) that I thought there was an error affecting info on the sheds at Southend On Sea and Southend Victoria. Mr Jenkins contacted me recently and told me he had corrected the database, and asked if I would check and confirm. Unfortunately, whatever I do to my pc (refresh, cache clear, etc) I still get the old data. Would one of you please google BR Database, look at the list of sheds, and let this post know whether they see Southend Victoria as being 30A or 30D. This might confirm whether Mr Jenkins edit was successful or not, or it might confirm I have a problem with my pc.

Thanks very much

Assuming i'm looking at the right page it has Southend Victoria with STR then 30A.
 

grumpyxch

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That was a quick! 30A means you are looking at the old version (pre-edit). Please click on the Refresh symbol and try again, just to confirm.

Thanks
 

shawmat

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As the creator and owner of brdatabase, I can assure you that age hasn't caught up with me yet! The problem has mainly been that I have other things that occupy my time - family, work, other interests. I know it (brdatabase) can be an incoherent mess but it is my incoherent mess and I'm not very good at delegating so I tend not to get other people involved (I'm diagnosed ADD, which is ADHD without the 'H' !!!). I'm always on the lookout for new data and for corrections to existing data but I am so busy with other things that the database has been somewhat sidelined in recent years.
Any problems with the database and I would implore you to let me know and I will put it on my (very long) todo list.

I am working on brdatabase at the moment but maybe not quite what you would expect ...


The issue with the 13's is that I haven't come up with a simple solution that handles a very small number of locos (6) that have been rebuilt and combined into a new class of 3 that fits in with a relational database model. I'll think about it!
The relational database model can be used for much more complicated problems than describing Class 13! My suggestion for modeling the data is follows. (one "L" in "modeling" is correct in this context)

1. "Frames" are the immutable definition of a loco or carriage, with numbers and classes being variable properties of the frame. Each property has a valid-from and valid-to date associated. Example: A Class 30 can be updated to Class 31 on a given date with or without changing the number carried. It cannot be Class 30 and 31 at the same time;
2. Multiple units are collections of frames with a sort order. The MU has its own numbers and classes. Thus, a Class 13 is not a loco but is a multiple unit. Maybe an unusual way of thinking of Class 13, but makes sense in data modeling terms.

In this model, D/EMUs can have discrete carriage numbers and a single set number. The configuration of a set can be changed (i.e. individual carriages swapped in and out) by giving the sort order valid-from and valid-to dates too.
 

D1001

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The relational database model can be used for much more complicated problems than describing Class 13! My suggestion for modeling the data is follows. (one "L" in "modeling" is correct in this context)

1. "Frames" are the immutable definition of a loco or carriage, with numbers and classes being variable properties of the frame. Each property has a valid-from and valid-to date associated. Example: A Class 30 can be updated to Class 31 on a given date with or without changing the number carried. It cannot be Class 30 and 31 at the same time;
2. Multiple units are collections of frames with a sort order. The MU has its own numbers and classes. Thus, a Class 13 is not a loco but is a multiple unit. Maybe an unusual way of thinking of Class 13, but makes sense in data modeling terms.

In this model, D/EMUs can have discrete carriage numbers and a single set number. The configuration of a set can be changed (i.e. individual carriages swapped in and out) by giving the sort order valid-from and valid-to dates too.
In the RDBMS model, each vehicle, be it a steam locomotive or a carriage in a multiple unit, has an independent life of it's own - it may change identity many times over the years, it may even be rebuilt, but there are few precedents for it becoming half of a new entity. The dilemma is how to handle a situation where two locomotives become one. In the database, there are two entries in the diesels table, one for D4189 and one for D4190 - both class 08 shunters. At some point in the 1960's, they were rebuilt as a new locomotive, D4501, 13001. So, either I create a new loco and 'condemn' the donor pair or, as you suggest, treat the new entity as a multiple unit where, uniquely, they both carry the same number - which then can potentially result in duplicate rows where duplicate rows should not exist - e.g. a pair of locos numbered 13001. I could go through the database and change the code on every page that could potentially refer to class 13 and add special code to handle them but that seems to be using a hammer to crack a peanut.

For dmu's, I have a table called 'dmu' which is the actual vehicle within the unit and a second table called 'dmu_formation' which is a virtual or otherwise set number with component vehicles at a snapshot date. So, to handle the special case of the class 13's I would need an equivalent table to dmu_formation and code throughout the website changed to handle it just for three exceptions to the rule. Maybe I will do that - but your suggestion that an RDBMS model can handle more complex problems than describing class 13 is facile as the real problem lies in the extra work I would need to do to handle it and there are more pressing issues with the database than handling the merging of 3 pairs of class 08's!
 

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