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Feltham Marshalling Yard  

Feltham Marshalling Yard was once one of the busiest in the country handling up to 7000 wagons per day. Nowadays the area is a nature reserve on land still owned by Network rail but some traces of its past remain if you look hard enough. The tunnel pictured is still there and was located under one of two humps where wagons would be pushed up at 2mph, uncoupled, chalked with their siding destination and then rolled down the incline to be switched into their correct location. Virtually all of the structures of Feltham Marshalling Yard have been removed so it was a real surprise to find this still existing in 2011 - it's a bit out of the way but if the proposed Airtrack scheme goes ahead even this relic may not last much longer.  

While pretty much every other trace of Feltham yards 32 miles of track has been bulldozed or removed there are a few clues scattered around. Either too small or insignificant to be noticed or perhaps too heavy to bother moving I found a few relics still there. Scroll down for more photos.     

A little bit more on the history of the yards: 

The opening of Feltham Marshalling Yards was more of an evolution than a ceremony on a specific date. Taking traffic from a previous shed at Strawberry Hill the project was initiated by the LSWR but was not fully complete until grouping. Key elements of the yards included a 65ft turntable , a mechanical coaling plant and a engine shed complete with a 50 tin overhead crane for assisting with repairs. Once fully operational around 80 steam locomotives operated at the location and it saw its first diesel shunters in 1954. The depot reduced in importance as road travel took off and although there were plans for it to continue after the demise of steam in 1967 the proposed diesel sheds were never built.

Feltham Marshalling Yards were a target in the Second World War. A land mine dropped at 3am one morning destroyed around 150 wagons but the yard was once again operational just six hours later. Elsewhere a bomb landed on the hump blowing the rails so high that they went over the nearby signal box. The yards were key in moving equipment destined for use in the D-Day landings by American and Canadian servicemen. Tanks, fuel supplies and even bridge parts transited the yard on their way to their coastal departure points.  

All colour photographs on this page copyright artofthestate 2011

All black and white photographs on this page - copyright is retained by their original owner.

To order a hi-resolution copy of any of these photos click here (image reference LDN-FELTYARD-1-5) and state image description.

 

All photographs copyright artofthestate 2011

Feltham Marshalling Yard in its heyday with a wagon rolling away from the hump.

Feltham Marshalling Yards

The tunnel under the gravity hump at Feltham Marshalling Yards

Feltham Yards

Further remnants of what was once Britains second largest sidings complex in Feltham, West London.

Old Iron railway ladder in Feltham Marchalling Yards

An old ladder gently rusting away in the overgrown old yards

Third Rail Chair

A more recent addition perhaps, this looks like a ceramic chair used to hold the third rail in place and is marked up BR. .

Felled Telegraph pole

Feltham Yards was once home to a state of the art telecommunications system parts of which now sit among the unchecked wilderness.

The engine shed and coaling stage at Feltham Marshalling Yard

Bomb damage in the yard during the Second World War. Amazingly operations resumed within 24 hours - unexploded bombs actually took longer to resolve.

LONDON RAIL INDEX

London Underground 
Brompton Road (disused) 
Aldwych (disused)
Waterloo & City Line
Underground Pioneer (150 years)
Boston Manor Signal Box
Art Deco on the Underground

West London Branch lines
Staines to West Drayton 
Southall to Brentford
West Drayton to Uxbridge
West Ealing to Greenford
Uxbridge High Street to Denham 

Other Railway Relics
Slough to Windsor branch line
Maidenhead Boyne Hill station
Feltham Mashalling Yards
Feltham Station
Feltham Cavalry Tunnel 
Richmond - old BR posters

Other London photos