Caledonian Road Goods Depot

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Killieken
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Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by Killieken » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:49 pm

I am aware that this depot was built in GNR days, but does anybody on this Forum know in which year it was constructed with the associated access siding over the south portals of Copenhagen Tunnels?

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Colombo
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Post by Colombo » Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:39 am

I cannot help you there but you might like to contact the builders of the Copenhagen Fields N gauge layout. This a really beautiful exhibition layout.

You may get them through their web site on http://www.themodelrailwayclub.org/docs/photoscf.htm

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Post by Killieken » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:22 pm

[quote="Colombo"]I cannot help you there but you might like to contact the builders of the Copenhagen Fields N gauge layout. This a really beautiful exhibition layout.

You may get them through their web site on http://www.themodelrailwayclub.org/docs/photoscf.htm

Colombo[/quote]

Thanks for this, but I have tried them, and they don't know either!

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Post by Colombo » Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:37 pm

This may be a long shot but have you tried looking at old maps to see when the depot first appeared.

I have been looking at http://www.old-maps.co.uk/. This one dates from 1882. I am not sure which is the depot you mean, but there was one in the area at that time.

There are several maps from this period and even one dated 1853.

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Killieken
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Post by Killieken » Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:22 pm

[quote="Colombo"]This may be a long shot but have you tried looking at old maps to see when the depot first appeared.

I have been looking at http://www.old-maps.co.uk/. This one dates from 1882. I am not sure which is the depot you mean, but there was one in the area at that time.

There are several maps from this period and even one dated 1853.

Colombo[/quote]

Thanks again, but I have looked at early OS maps in the past. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the dates quoted for these maps. The "1882" one appears to indicate that there was still only one Copenhagen Tunnel bore at this time, which I am reasonably certain was not the case. The map may have been issued in 1882, but it is likely to have been produced as the result of a survey carried out in earlier years.

To explain: The GNR built a very sharply graded branch on the down side of the main line between Gasworks and Copenhagen Tunnels. It ran below the North London Line Viaduct, but at a much higher level than the GNR main line. It continued above the top of the retaining wall beyond the portals of the Copenhagen Tunnel bores to a reversing siding. It then ran across the top of, and behind, the portals to a small goods depot close to the North London line, and more or less on the same level. However, there was no railway connection to the NLR. It can be seen in miniature on the Model Railway Club's layout. It also featured in the film, "The Ladykillers".

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by Tubeman » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:46 am

Hi chaps... First post! I'm also trying to establish the opening / closure dates of this goods yard, I'm the 'author' of Ian Allan's 'London railway Atlas' and this information is evading me. 'Old maps' is totally unreliable for this purpose... I was hoping there might be mention of this yard in Middleton Press' 'North London Line' book (although I recognise the yard wasn't actually connected to it, it was adjacent to it) but there isn't.

Any info would be much appreciated, feel free to email me at atlasupdate@blueyonder.co.uk if you can help, thanks!

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by hq1hitchin » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:09 am

Perhaps the GNR society might be able to help?

http://www.gnrs.150m.com/

I think it closed in the early 1960s but certainly a little known piece of railway, used to curve up around the back of Goods and Mineral box. Sad to think that KX Goods is now totally cut off rail connections, even though many of the buildings (listed) still remain
A topper is proper if the train's a non-stopper!

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by AndyRush » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:02 pm

Caledonian Road goods depot opened in 1878 and closed 30.10.1967.
Source: Chronology of London Railways, H V Borley

See also The Great Northern Railway Vol II by John Wrottesley, p65

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StevieG
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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by StevieG » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:29 pm

Well found Andy.
I actually walked from G&M signal box, up there and above the tunnel portals and sketched the track layout. I think it would have been in 1968. Your quoted dates would have meant the yard was already 'closed', which I would not be surprised at, though I think the box still had its OES (One Engine in Steam) train staff for the working of the line, which I'm fairly sure referred to it as "Caledonian Coal Yard". So perhaps the yard had closed 'commercially', but the niceties of closing the line operationally may not have been complete, or it was such a minor affair [the line merely rose out of the 'North Yard', passing through No.9 arch of York Way (road) Viaduct as its rise started, and in 1967 (& earlier, as 'box diagrams attest) involved no signals] that doing so got overlooked.
By the time a slide of mine of around 1970, was taken looking south from the NLL above, the rails behind G&M box had definitely been lifted.
BZOH

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by kudu » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:46 pm

I too am intrigued by this maybe little-known GN goods and coal depot that, according to this thread, closed in 1967. Its main claim to fame is the role of the access line in "The Ladykillers" film.

Judging by my 1913 OS map it was a fairly modest affair with just 5 sidings, located alongside the North London line. But what puzzles me is the great effort the GN seems to have gone to to provide rail access, which makes me wonder why they couldn't find a more convenient site - or, indeed, what was wrong with their facility next to the loco shed. To reach it there was first a steep ascent alongside the approach to Copenhagen Tunnel, passing immediately behind Goods & Mineral Box and under the North London bridge. The line led to a headshunt directly above the tunnel, where trains could reverse round a curve to the goods yard. (Any pictures of the headshunt, I wonder?)

Seems a lot of work for a depot that could have been located anywhere with road access. Was this the remnant of some abandoned bigger project, maybe? For instance, my 1913 map shows the large Metropolitan Cattle Market close by the north portals of Copenhagen Tunnel, but with no rail access. Was that headshunt originally intended to be a branch to the Market?

Kudu

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by Mickey » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:45 pm

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Last edited by Mickey on Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by sandwhich » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:14 am

The area referred to was also known as the farm, why I am not sure, but I can only think that the name originated because of livestock for the nearby cattle market was at some time or another taken up there, I do remember that any wagons taken up there were propelled, also because of the long walk up the stairs at the G & M box if the signalman saw you coming he would sometimes call out to stand clear and drop the staff onto soft ground where you would pick it up and show it to him and then make your way back to the engine but of course there was no other choice when you returned the staff but to climb those dreaded stairs.

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StevieG
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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by StevieG » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:10 pm

sandwhich wrote: " .... I do remember that any wagons taken up there were propelled, also because of the long walk up the stairs at the G & M box if the signalman saw you coming he would sometimes call out to stand clear and drop the staff onto soft ground where you would pick it up and show it to him and then make your way back to the engine but of course there was no other choice when you returned the staff but to climb those dreaded stairs. "
Regarding the Train Staff, how definite is this, sandwhich?

I only ask because I know that this was the case when dealing with the OES Train Staff being dropped from, or carried back up the long stairs to, Goods & Mineral box, for the single-track North London Incline line which led off the Down Goods below the North London line viaduct, up to St. Pancras Jn.(NLR) box [latterly, from about the mid-1960s, the St.P. Sdgs. shunter's cabin].

G&M box was built against the east side of the viaduct carrying the single line rising from the midst of 'the North Yard' up to the embankment just north of the NL line viaduct, from where the line continued to the area above Copenhagen Tunnel en route to the Caledonian Road Goods Yard/Caledonian Coal Yard/'The Farm' * (*=delete according to taste :) ), and which viaduct passed over the access to 'Under the Wall' (Nos.10-12 Arch Sidings) and the NL Incline, and the box's operating floor's back window was just above the viaduct side wall.
On the 'Caledonian' viaduct side of the box's top stairs' landing were just a few wooden steps by which to get up, over, and down the other side, of the viaduct side wall to the 'Caledonian' track level (which was either about level with, or perhaps a foot above, the signal box operating floor).

I had always assumed that this would have been where/how (just by the signal box) the 'Caledonian' train staff would have been passed from/to the signalman, but applying safety logic, that would have meant a train for the 'Caledonian' embarking onto the line (in the yard) without the staff, until collecting it when passing the box, which sounds a bit 'unofficial'/against principles, so from what you say, sandwhich, it sounds like the 'Caledonian' staff was obtained from/given back to the G & M signalman, in the same way as for the NL Incline, and given to/retrieved from the footplate crew of a 'Caledonian' trip before departure from/on arrival back in, level ground in the 'North Yard'. Is that correct?
If so, then the viaduct steps up at top of the box's main stairs might have just been a sensible provision in case the signalman had to go on the track for an unusual reason, or as an access route between main yard level and the 'Caledonian' viaduct for any other staff (e.g. P.Way patrolman/ganger, etc.).
BZOH

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sandwhich
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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by sandwhich » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:29 pm

Yes Stevie G you are right about the layout and the back route out of the G & M box and the sometimes unofficial collecting and returning of the staff, it depended on who the Driver or Signalman were. I remember going up there once and we had forgot to go and get it and the signalman was not very pleased another time another signalman was waiting out of the back of the box to collect it. On another occasion the shunters that rode up to the "Farm" gave us the right to go and when I told this Driver I was shouted at to go and get the staff first and being dark the bobby probably could not see me, as has been said it was a long walk up those stairs.

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Re: Caledonian Road Goods Depot

Post by StevieG » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:48 pm

Thanks sandwhich.
Can't say I'm surprised at the varied actual working according to personalities/circumstances.
BZOH

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