1902 Encyclopedia > Railway, Railways (Railroad) > Railway Construction: Midland Building Works; Engine Sheds.

Railway, Railways
(Part 21)




C. RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION (cont.)

Midland Works. Engine Sheds.


Midland Building Works

Locomotive stations comprise two departments,—the running and the constructing and repairing of engines and tenders. The chief locomotive station of the Midland Railway at Derby may be taken as an example. It is contiguous to the passenger station, and is in communication with the main line by a number of sidings branching off at the north end of that station, near the bridge over the Derby Canal. The area of ground enclosed is about 80 acres, of which 12 are covered by buildings. The walls of the erecting shops are 28 1/2 feet high; those of the fitting and other shops are 20. The tools are 693 in number. The number of locomotives housed at Derby station (1885) is 289. There is room in the erecting shops for seventy-one locomotives. The workshops are capable of turning out 120 engines per year—say, thirty new engines with tenders, and ninety engines with new boilers, cylinders, and other working parts.

The carriage and waggon works of the Midland Railway at Derby are situated about half a mile south of the passenger station, with which they are connected by a double line of way branching out from the south end of the station. The works were built in 1875-76, on an enclosed piece of land 67 acres in extent, of which 19 3/4 are covered by buildings. There are 15 1/2 miles of single way within the enclosure. The workshops are built in blocks, separated by open spaces of at least 70 feet in width. They consist principally of seven large shops, of red brick, the walls being of a uniform height of 21 feet; four on the west side are devoted to the preparation of timber and the building and painting of carriages and waggons, and three on the east side to the manipulation of various metals, comprising the foundry and iron stores, the smithy and the machine and fitting shop. Each block of building is entirely surrounded by a 7-inch water-main continually charged with water at a pressure sufficient to throw a jet over the ridge of the roof of any of these buildings. Vehicular communication is carried on between the shops on the east and the west side of the works by means of traversing tables, the rails for which are laid the entire distance across the shops from north to south, and intersect the nine principal lines of sidings flanking the shops. Both steam-power and horse-power are used for moving the traversers.

The saw-mill is 320 feet long and 200 wide. In the cellar underneath all the main shafting, pulleys, and belting are placed. About a hundred loads of oak logs are converted into plank or scantling weekly. There are in all about a hundred machines for sawing and working wood. Outside the saw-mill are large cross-cutting saw-benches, with circular saws 6 feet in diameter, by which logs of deal are cut to the required length before being taken into the mill. The waggon-shop is 320 feet long and 200 wide. The carriage building and finishing shop is 384 by 200 feet wide. In the panel-shed fitted with louver ventilators, mahogany panel boards, maple boards, &c., are stored for about two years, to be thoroughly dried and seasoned before being used in vehicles. The painting and trimming shop is 384 by 300 feet. It has seventeen lines of rails, each capable of holding ten ordinary vehicles. From the commencement to the finish, twenty-five distinct operations—pruning, filling up, rubbing down, painting, varnishing—are performed on a passenger carriage. Young girls and women—the children and widows of the company’s servants who have lost their lives by accident in the service—are employed on the light work of sewing, stuffing of cushions and backs of carriages, French-polishing, washing and dyeing, cleaning and lacquering light brass-work and gilding.





The foundries, iron and brass, are 200 feet long by 90 wide. Two thousand tons of iron castings are turned out annually. There are the bar-iron stores 200 by 45 feet, the general stores 150 by 90 feet, and the mess-room 45 by 70 feet, providing accommodation for 500 workmen; also two smiths’ shops, one of them 225 by 200 feet, the other 140 by 200 feet; the machine and fitting shop, 400 by 225 feet; and the coal-waggon repairing shop, 350 by 300 feet. The carriage and waggon works just noticed are capable of turning out seven new carriages and eighty new waggons weekly. All the building of railway carriages for the Midland Railway is done at their works, and 80 per cent. of the new waggons are built here. Eighty per cent. of the carriages and 20 per cent. of the waggons are repaired here. The machinery of all kinds laid down for carrying on the business of the carriage and waggon works comprises 500 machine tools, 9 steam-engines, 1 gas-engine, 15 stationary boilers, 4 warming boilers, 3 steam traversers, 2 steam cranes, 2 steam travelling cranes, with a number of hydraulic cranes and overhead cranes.

Engine Sheds

One of the engine houses or sheds for engines on duty, at Gorton station, on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire railway, is shown in fig. 21.

Rotunda at Gorton locomotive station (image)

Fig. 21. Rotunda at Gorton locomotive station, to house the working engines.


It is a rotunda of 150 feet in diameter inside and is capable of holding seventeen engines with their tenders, leaving the entrance and exit lines clear. The advantage of this arrangement over the ordinary polygonal engine-house is in the absence of pillars for supporting the roof, of which there are twelve for a twelve-sided polygon; in this building there is but one column, at the centre. To the left of the entrance is a furnace for holding live fuel, from which the engines are lighted; and there are two lines of rail across the central turn-table, on one of which the engines enter and on the other depart. Between the rails of each radiating line a pit is constructed to afford access below the engines for inspection. The roof is of wrought-iron surmounted by a louvre for ventilation, which is glazed to admit light freely. In the engine-shed of the North-Eastern Railway at Newcastle five ordinary engine-house rotundas have been replaced by a single rectangular building 450 by 280 feet with five turn-tables. This shed has berths for ninety engines, and the extra space enclosed by the rectangular building as against separate rotundas is used for executing minor repairs.





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