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Following on the standardisation of locomotives, in itself a source of economy in many ways, locomotive maintenance and running expenses can be reduced to a minimum by the provision of up-to-date plant and equipment. The Great Western Railway has therefore provided a number of new locomotive depots incorporating arrangements for enabling repairs and maintenance to be efficiently carried out ...
In connection with the general reconstruction work at Didcot, the old locomotive depot was swept away and an entirely new depot provided on the triangle of line between the western main line on the left and the line to Oxford and the North on the right. The new shed is of the usual size, namely 210ft long by 67ft wide and will hold up to 24 locomotives, according to types. New offices, stores and staff accommodation as well as a lifting shop, sand drying plant and coaling and water facilities have been provided. We reproduce a site plan of the depot as typical of the other modern locomotive depots on the Great Western, and our illustrations are also from photographs taken at Didcot.
The new lifting shop is a particularly well-lighted and equipped building. In it are installed a 50-ton engine hoist, drilling and planing machines, and a lathe; also two benches, a grindstone and blacksmith's forge. Alongside this, and separately housed, is a boiler utilised in conection with the heating of the shed and washing out of locomotive boilers.
At the south-east, or London, end of the running shed there is a small building containing a sand drier, and beyond this a new coaling stage supporting an overhead water tank measuring 44ft, by 36ft, and having a capacity of 74,250 gallons.
The offices, stores and enginemen's rooms are arranged along the south-west side of the building. They are commodious, well-lighted and warmed, and washing facilities are provided for enginemen, chargemen, fitters, mechanics, cleaners and shedmen. All the enginemen's notices, instructions and roster sheets are contained in glass cases by which means they are kept flat, clean and easily discernible, and are posted up in a lobby between the stores and the offices.