Cranmore West

Cranmore West platform is for access to the Engine Shed. There is also pedestrian access from Cranmore station, although many people like to go out on the train and then on the way back, get off at Cranmore West and walk back to Cranmore station.

Further pictures of Cranmore West and the depot can be found in the Photo Gallery.

Cranmore West Platform

Cranmore West in the January sunshine
Cranmore West in the January sunshine
Credit: Jim Cobb, 18/01/2004

When the ESR started running trains on the branch in 1978, freight trains were still using Cranmore Station and so Cranmore West Platform was built to handle the passenger traffic. The materials to build the platform came from Ilton Halt on the disused Taunton to Chard branch. Prior to building the platform, operations had been limited to the depot yard. It was not until 1985 when BR left Cranmore that the main station could be used, and Cranmore West became an intermediate stopping point. There is a footpath from the platform to the engine shed and onto Cranmore station.


Engine Shed

The Engine Shed
The Engine Shed
Credit: Jim Cobb, 30/06/2001

The 2-road victorian-style Engine Shed was actually built in 1973 to a design based on the engine shed at Radstock, although in brick rather than stone. The length of the shed is 130 feet, which was long enough that David Shepherd's two engines, "Black Prince" and "Green Knight" could be housed on one road. Once built, the shed was numbered 82H, which would have been the number of the next shed if BR had built another in the Bristol area. The engine shed (and workshop) are built on the site of the Roads Reconstruction workshop and goods yard.

In the Autumn of 2002, the roof suffered damage during a storm and the Engine Shed had to be closed. In the Autumn of 2003, the roof was removed so that the Engine Shed could be used again. In 2006, an appeal was launched for a new roof, and work started in early 2007. The new roof was completed in the summer of 2007, and was formally dedicated on Sunday 9th September by David Shepherd, the man who started the building of the shed in 1973.

Details of this project can be found on the old projects page.


Workshop

The workshop just after an engine has left the engine shed.
The workshop just after an engine has left the engine shed.
Credit: Jim Cobb, 07/09/2002

The 4,000 sq.ft. workshop was built in 1973 along with the engine shed and was outfitted with equipment from a wide variety of places. Whilst the workshop is not normally accessible to the public for safety reasons, there is a viewing gallery, accessed from the Engine Shed, from which you can see the workshop and the work that goes on there.


Toilets & Picnic Area

Depot Toilet block
Depot Toilet block
Credit: Jim Cobb, 11/08/2005

Beside the water tower are some toilets. These toilets were built at the same time as the the Engine Shed in 1973. At the time, the £6,000 cost caused some consternation with many railway enthusiasts who felt that the money could have been better spent on another steam engine from Barry scrapyard. Nevertheless, David Shepherd felt that toilets would be more appreciated by the public than a rusting hulk from Barry.

With the opening of the main station building at Cranmore Station, the focus of the railway moved away from the engine shed area and Cranmore West platform, and these toilets became more used by the volunteers (although still open to the public). To this end, a shower block was added on to provide cleaning facilities for the volunteers using the adjacent sleeping coach.


Water tank and crane

Water tower, water crane and enginemans hut.
Water tower, water crane and enginemans hut.
Credit: Jim Cobb, 11/08/2005

In the depot is the large capacity water tank used to provide water for the steam engines. This was built int 1973 using a second-hand tank aquired from the Bristol Water Authority. This is linked to the water crane at track level and underneath the tank is a small hut used by engineman.


Carriage Shed

Carriage shed
Carriage shed
Credit: Jim Cobb, 11/08/2005

The Carriage Shed was built in 1988 and is the base for CTMS. This is where all maintenance on carriages is undertaken, although most work is commercial restorations. For Safety reasons, the Carriage Shed is not accessible to the public.

In front of the carriage shed is the coaling dock, which is used in conjunction with a loader to load coal into steam engines. Between 1974 and 1983, this was the site of the coaling stage which had a raised bank for coal wagons and a loading gantry with coal tubs. This was heavily damaged in September 1983 after a collision with LMS 3F no.47493. Due to the amount of damage, and safety concerns the coaling stage was demolished in favour of the current arrangement. This also provided space for the carriage shed to be built.