The Loco Shed

The shed is accessed by the right and left roads, each with their own ashpit and a service / shunt road is sited up the middle.

An electric traverser allows Locomotives to access the various stabling tracks within the shed, and the twin access roads allow considerable flexibility in operations on shed.

A high level viewing area is sited to the right of the picture allowing the public to view and film all shed preparation duties.

The 5 coal burning steam Locomotives are fired up using diesel soaked kindle wood until a fire is established, when coal is then added. Smokebox draught is applied via the use of compressed air to the blower steam supply, until the loco becomes self sufficient at about 60 psi steam. (The Niagara uses an electric chimney fan instead of compressed air).

The “Nord” can be seen in this image, which was visiting the SMR for 4 years until Sept 2000 and is on the far road.

Locomotives usually take around an hour and a half to steam up from cold, ensuring a gentle warm up, to avoid thermal shock damage to the boiler.

 And of course, the locos need cleaning and polishing before they can be released for service, a job for the young apprentices!
Video of the Berkshire climbing up the steep link line from the engine shed to report for duty.