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Trainspotting in the engine sheds

Recording trains in our book

I well remember the engine sheds at Brighton which were a few hundred yards up the line from the station. As young train-spotting teenagers we would wander into the sheds to try and spot a new steam locomotive that we hadn’t recorded in our numbers book. There was a regular steam service from Brighton up-country on the old Bramber line, as well as a twice a day service to and from Cardiff (from memory) which used larger ‘named’ locomotives.

Wandering freely

Strictly speaking you were meant to check with the shed master before you were allowed alongside the magnificent parked locomotives which were there for maintenance, but often there was no-one there and we would just wander in anyway. No-one ever kicked us out as we wandered round – I’m not sure what Health and Safety would make of it these days.

Brighton station engine sheds. Click on image to open a large version in a new window.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Comments about this page

  • My dad, George Cook, drove a lorry for the railways in the 40s and 50s. It was often parked outside our house in Wiston Close, Whitehawk. As a kid I remember going with him to some of the huge maintenance sheds. Everything was on such a massive scale. They where full of dirt, soot, smells, fire, massive metal things and people. They were awesome! Is that graffiti on the side of that carriage in the foreground? Wow, even before spray cans.

    By Eric Cook (21/10/2012)
  • I well remember the the Cardiff trains to and from Brighton, but there were also steams to and from Bournemouth and Southampton; they used to leave from Platform 2 and used either Battle of Britain or Wwst Country Class Locos.

    By JOHN WIGNALL (20/03/2013)
  • You’ve all forgotten the 11.30 to Plymouth. I travelled a few times on that. What a lovely journey skirting north Dartmoor then down to the banks of the Tamar and into Plymouth. Sadly all gone, West of Oakhampton to Bere Alston. cX53Y

    By gil tipping (25/07/2013)

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