1965 BR(E) Residential Information Course

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Pyewipe Junction
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1965 BR(E) Residential Information Course

Post by Pyewipe Junction »

in April or May 1965 I got onto a week-long course organised by British Rail Eastern Region for school-leavers who were interested in a career with the railways. We were accommodated at the Cora Hotel in Russell Square. The course consisted of visits to various locations to demonstrate railway operations. One particular visit sticks in my mind, although with the passage of time I often wonder whether my mind is playing tricks with me about the details. IIRC it was to an operations control centre at or near King's Cross. What struck me about the place was that it appeared to be underground, or at least deep in the bowels of some building, as there was no natural light in evidence. Can anyone identify this location?
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Re: 1965 BR(E) Residential Information Course

Post by Mickey »

Could that have been Great Northern House located on Euston road that you are referring to Pyewipe that was in the 1960s located across Euston road to Somers Town Goods yard that was part of and opposite St Pancras station but nowadays is the home of the new British Library. GN House was the building the Eastern region GN Control was located in during the 1970s and maybe the 1960s?.

As it happens I went for a interview at GN House for the telegraph lads position at Welwyn Garden City box sometime around May/June of 1972. The building was vacated by B.R. possibly by the late 1970s and over the last 25-30 years became a YMCA or just YCA organisation building.
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Re: 1965 BR(E) Residential Information Course

Post by StevieG »

During 1974 -'77 I worked in King's Cross Divisional Control Office at BR(E)'s Div'l HQ, Great Northern House (79-81 Euston Road), Pyewipe Junction.
This was located at the front of the building in Room 1 (to the left of the ground floor's then central entrance), and enjoyed a panoramic view of the busy Euston Road traffic and the frontage of the ex-MR Somerstown Depot of BR(M) opposite, thanks to almost floor to ceiling glazing. So no shortage of natural light there.

There was a daylight-free 'in the bowels'-type room somewhere below the building but AFAIR this was only a telecomms. equipment and circuits distribution room for Control and probably the rest of the building, so doesn't fit your memory at all.

I can't say that I knew KX station's 'hidden' parts at all, but never heard of a below-ground operations control centre there either.

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Re: 1965 BR(E) Residential Information Course

Post by neilgow »


The North Eastern Region ran a similar course based from the Railway Hotel, Darlington. I was one of the lucky ones. Sometime during 1963.

From memory, we went around Darlington Works, shown various aspects of locomotive construction and repairs with a visit to the boiler house containing the Hush Hush boiler. York Carriage Works, Gateshead Depot, The Tyneside Electrics Depot, (the name escapes me) and Darlington Main signal Box where we watched the passing traffic.The signalman entertained us with tales of the night time speed trials by the Deltics.

One point that sticks in my memory, we got taken around the nearby scrapyard. Many old friends in for breaking but there was a pile of locomotive nameplates, our guide said we could take what we wanted. Tell me, how a 16 year old can stagger through York with a nameplate from a D49. Nice thought though.

An excellent experience.

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