DERBY LOCOMOTIVE WORKS.
1840 - 2004 and beyond
A Brief History.
The Midland Railway Company acquired a small site in Derby in 1840 and built workshops to repair their rail vehicles. This site soon expanded and in 1876 a further site was acquired, which became the Carriage & Wagon Works. The original site was the devoted to the building and repair of locomotives - Derby Locomotive Works. In 1923 the works came under the control of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and in 1948 the British Transport Commission Workshops Division. Then in 1970 British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) was formed by the British Railways Board, encompassing all BR workshops this was one of the country's largest engineering concerns. Ironically this form of split paved the way for the ensuing privatisation process. Railway owned hotels, then ships and then the workshops were sold off, and the "running side" followed later on.
Before the sell off BREL announced nearly 1500 redundancies in 1987. GEC bid for the company but the then Transport Secretary decreed that a consortium made up of property giant Trafalgar House, ASEI Brown-Boveri (ABB) and the management (and employees) of BREL were the preferred bidders. Thus began a major and lengthy asset stripping excercise.
The local evening newspaper of 7th December 1990 announced on the front page "BREL shuts Loco Works" and reporting on a gradual closure over the next two years. Ultimately only the former 9 and 7 shops remained firstly controlled by AdTranz (a merger of ABB and Mercedes Benz) and finally Bombardier Transportation, whilst some of the original buildings including the historic round shed are preserved.
On 17th March 2004 Bombardier Transportation announced Europe wide redundancies owing to poor performance where profit is concerned. Additionally scaling down of production will take place company wide and includes the transfer of bogie construction away from the remains of the Loco Works.
A little over 15 years since that fateful BREL announcement and Derby Locomotive Works is no more with the demolition of the remaining bay of 8 shop and 9 and 7 shops.
The end of 2007 saw contractors arrive following the acquisition of the last surviving buildings by Derby College - click here to view the college website and see updates on the restoration of the roundhouse and surrounding buildings.
The rest of the site is now "Pride Park" which has been extensively redeveloped..
This part of my website is dedicated to those who worked at 'The Loco' (I did myself from 1980 - 89) and is intended as a tribute to the vast array of engineering skills once grouped together to produce what were arguably some of the finest railway locomotives this country has seen.
Click HERE to return to the Locomotive Works index page.