Depot - RIP
Depot (servicing shed) was built on a landfill site and
opened during March 1964. Its function was to service locomotives
using the marshalling yard, which was acclaimed as being
the most highly mechanised in the United Kindom when it
was opened in 1960.
Margam Depot opened, Port Talbot Duffryn Yard closed and
its's allocation of Class 08's, D3429-D3438 were transferred
to it. During March / April 1974 D3429-D3438 were renumbered
no mainline locomotives have ever been allocated to Margam
Depot, nearly all British Rail classes of locomotive have
visited the depot for servicing.
the late 70's British Steel opened their Iron Ore terminal
at Port Talbot Docks and Margam Depot supplied several rakes
of 3 x Class 37/0's with 27 x 100T Iron Ore tipplers to
convey Iron Ore to Llanwern Steel Works. Utilising 3 x Class
37/0's became an operational and maintenance nightmare for
Margam Depot, getting them to work in multiple together
and carrying out modification work to strengthen the couplers.
Stormy Bank challenged the locomotivs to their fullest and
a maximum speed of 8mph was attained at the top of the bank.
2 x Class 56's replaced the 3 x 37's during the 80's and
with the reduction of one locomotive three additional wagons
were added to the train, which was the limitation for length
at Llanwern head shunt. Class 56's historically were the
preferred traction for this train with most drivers as 12mph
could be attained at the top of Stormy Bank. However 2 x
refurbished Class 37/7's replaced the 2 x Class 56's in
the late 80's and they in turn were replaced with 1 x Class
60 locomotive in the early 90's. Class 60's became the regular
traction for this train until the service was withdrawn
during 2003 when Llanwern lost its hot section and focussed
on rolling. For a short period of time in early 1999 EWS's
newly purchased Class 59/2's from National Power were used
for the service.
the past forty years oil, coal, steel and wagonload traffic
has severely declined in south wales resulting in Margam
Depot taking on the work from Swansea Eastern, Llanelli,
Pantyffynnon and Landore Depots which closed or restructured
as in the case of the latter to an Inter City depot.
to the introduction of Class 60 and Class 66 locomotives
most freight traffic originating from Margam Depot was restored
for 2 x Class 37/0's, 1 x Class 37/5, 7 or 9, Class 47 or
Class 56 locomotives, with the valleys being exclusively
operated by Class 37 locomotives.
most notable weekday workings passing Margam reaching the
most westerly parts of wales was a Tinsley Depot, Railfreight
Distirbution locomotive working 0450 Gloucester - Trecwn,
Trecwn - Carmathen and finally 6M60 Carmathen Bescot. This
speedlink service often conveyed traffic for the MOD at
Trecwn, timber and fertiliser to and from Carmathen.
sadly Canton Depot closed in May 2004 and thirty fitters
were transferred to Margam Depot. This enabled four shift
working, 24/7, and as a consequence of this the maintenance
Team Leaders increased from one to four. To facilitate with
examinations and component changes, a one locomotive extension
was made to the shunter bay, complete with 2.5T overhead
Margam Depot has a head count of approximately 69 drivers
and four shifts of five fitters per shift with mobile gangs
operating from Avonmouth, Newport East Usk Yard, Cardiff
Tidal Sidings and Margam Depot.
Depot officially closed on 1st August 2009 but a second
power unit change on 08752 kept the facility open until
17th September when 08752 was taken by low loader from Margam
Knuckle Yard to Celsa Sidings. Drivers and maintenance staff
began moving into the new facility at Margam Knuckle Yard
from July onwards. The closure of Margam Depot now leaves
south wales without any facility to undertake safe brake
block changes and C xams on Class 08/09 locomotives. With
very basic facilities at Margam Knuckle Yard, locomotives
are now moved DIT to Toton Depot for repairs.