Colwick MPD

Colwick MPD was first opened as an engine shed by the Ambergate, Nottingham & Boston, and Eastern Junction Railway in 1850 to supplement the company facility at Ambergate yard in Grantham and was operated by the G.N.R. from 1855, and prior to the take over of British Railways (BR) in 1949 was known by the designation CLK.

The MPD was enlarged in 1872 and additional land was purchased where a large marshalling yard was built. In December 1922 the G.N.R was taken over by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) during the grouping.

61974 at Colwick Woods
Colwick K3 61974 passing Colwick woods with a Through freight in 1959.

After British Railways was formed in 1947, Colwick became part of BR Eastern Region and was allocated the code 38A. In a reorganization in 1958 Colwick had been downgraded and allocated code 40E as a sub shed of Lincoln.

When the steam era ended in 1966 Colwick became part of BR London Midland Region and was given the code 16B, a sub shed of Nottingham. Colwick MPD finally closed in 1970 when all of the Train crew were transferred to Nottingham or Toton and the remaining Locomotives moved to Toton.

On the one occasion i went inside the shed, was a day when my father had to go into work to collect something and i was allowed to go with him. We walked in through a small entrance door into a dark room with notice boards on the walls and small window openings where you could see people working inside, the walls were dark and covered in dark green shiny tiles up to chest height, then we went through a small door to be confronted by the biggest steam engine i had ever seen!.

I had seen steam engines all my life at stations, but this seemed massive compared to any i had seen before, maybe it was because i was so close to it or because this was the first time i had seen one from the ground level and not a platform but it certainly made a lasting impression on me!

Then we went down between the engines among all the coal dust and oil to the entrance of the shed where you could see nothing but miles of railway track and wagons. And right in the middle was this giant concrete tower sticking out like a church spire among flat fields, 'The Cenotaph' as it was known, a mechanical coaling plant to the uninitiated.

Everywhere was covered in coal dust and ash, black as far as the eye could see, some locomotives sitting there in the shed cold and dead and others bellowing steam and smoke moving endless trains of wagons about the yard, it was no wonder that my father came home after his shift looking like a coal miner!

I don't class myself as a Rail Enthusiast or Railfan. These people know more than me about railways, I'm just a photographer with an interest in railways.

7 Nov 2018