A day out at ‘The Factory’ in 1970

Old Oak Common shed in 1970 ('The Factory'), and a variety of Diesel Electric and Diesel Hydraulic locomotives await their next duty.

‘The Factory’ some time in 1970. The Repair Shop of Old Oak Common shed was called ‘The Factory’, and this view of the turntable captures the variety of Diesel Hydraulic and Diesel Electric traction used on the BR Western Region at the time. Whilst not all the locos are known, the line up includes (clockwise from top-right): 1071 ‘Western Renown’, 2 Unidentified Class 31s, an unidentified Hymek, 1038 ‘Western Sovereign’, an unidentified Western, Class 47 D1639, an unidentifed Western, Class 31 5535, Hymeks D7033 and 7025, Warship 821 ‘Greyhound’, Hymek D7049, Class 47 D1747 and two further Class 47s. Spotters would have got 16 locomotives in one location, just like in steam days!

A Day at Old Oak Common (‘The Factory’)

Our first new collection of photographs were taken by Peter Collins some time in the Summer of 1970; and what an evocative collection they are too! The Repair shop at Old Oak Common was known as ‘The Factory’, and this can be seen in the background of the photograph. There is a variety of locomotive types situated around the shed turntable, in what is a busy scene for 4pm in the afternoon. One can only guess that this is a Sunday!

The Diesel Hydraulics outnumber the Diesel Electrics (just), although all the locomotives are in a fairy grimy state. The use of the Diesel Hydraulic power was taken unilaterally by the Western Region, within British Railways. The experiment was soon to be over though as Warships started to be withdrawn en-mass  during 1971, and all the Westerns were gone by 1977.

We are fortunate to have a number of photographs of Warships, Hymeks and Westerns in Peter Collins’ collection, and we will making these available soon.

The full collection can be found at the Lineside Photographics website, and are available to buy in a variety of formats.

Watch out for more collections in the coming weeks, with images across the London suburbs and further afield too.

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