You may recall that I found this plan of a small urban goods yard in Brighton, and commented on its suitability for a model. (All maps from the National Library of Scotland site, under creative commons.)
Wandering around south London, I have come across a good number of other small yards. My interest started as I noticed the number of north London railway companies – such as the Midland or LNWR – with coal yards south of the river. Coal trains from the mining areas of the midlands and north were run south of the river to provide domestic and industrial coal – and smog.
I’ve presented a number of these yard below, mostly both as they were in 1900 and in 1950. I think they provide some interesting yard layouts, though modelling them purely as a coal depot may lack a little operating interest, despite the interesting private owner wagons that could be modelled.
We’ll start with Knight’s Hill, not far from Crystal Palace. This appears to belong to the London & North Western Railway. It would make an interesting model, with the tunnel and steep slopes down to the road bridges. The yard could be straightened up a bit to make the scene a little narrower.
The growth of suburbia is obvious in the second plan – but both would make good models.
Nearby at Nunhead was the Great Northern Railway coal depot. A far simpler design, but including some complex pointwork.
Moving in towards central London, Wandsworth was home to the Midland Railway. It was already largely urban in 1900. It is interesting to see how the yard has grown by 1950, and the war damaged streets to the west.
The Midland Railway depot in Brixton was very compact, using wagon turntables, but had all but disappeared by 1950.
And finally the LNWR depot at Clapham, on the end of the West London Extension Railway. The multiple main lines into Waterloo are to the north of the depot, and Clapham Junction is just to the west. Everyone seems to have a yard around Clapham – there was even a Great Western Railway broad-gauge yard prior to 1900.
I might try and find some yards further afield – there are some amazing places in East London, but hopefully those above will provoke the designer’s juices!