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Worcester Locomotive Shed (Hardback)

Engines and Train Workings

British History Transport Photographic Books Trains and Railways England

By Steve Bartlett
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Motive Power Depot
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 200 black and white illustrations & track plans
ISBN: 9781526750594
Published: 3rd August 2020

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Worcester Locomotive Shed is the third in a series of in depth studies of Western Region motive power depots. This provincial city was a busy and fascinating rail centre with main line passenger and freight services passing through alongside local passenger and freight tripping duties that together provided an endless panorama of railway activity.

The Great Western Railway had a major locomotive depot here and this book takes a detailed look at the shed, how it functioned, its locomotives and its operational duties during the latter days of steam. As well as official records valuable detail and reminiscences have been gathered from former footplate and shed staff ensuring that local custom and practice is well recorded in the story. The depot’s sub-sheds at Evesham, Honeybourne, Kingham and Ledbury are also all covered in detail as well as Worcester Locomotive Works.

Worcester was also home to the fondly remembered ex-GWR diesel railcars and it was their last operational base at the time of final withdrawal in 1962. Their role in the area is well covered in photographs and words. Taken together the book is both a valuable historical record and a fascinating and readable story of a large motive power depot in the latter days of steam.

This is another superb addition to the series and as with previous titles where, both reproduction and printing are excellent, comes highly recommended.

Steam Days magazine, May 2021

Review by Roger Backhouse

Reading through this excellent book is a reminder of just how labour intensive steam locomotive operation was. The author knew the shed well and has drawn on staff reminiscences and photographs to show the human side of shed operation, something often overlooked in railway books...

... The author describes in detail how trains were worked from Worcester. Along with the author’s earlier books about Hereford shed (recently reprinted) and Gloucester sheds this isn’t only an exercise in nostalgia but a useful contribution to railway history. WE need more of this quality. Highly recommended.

Society of Model and Experimental Engineers

Reviewed alongside Hereford Locomotive Shed

These two books (and indeed the author’s complementary volume on Gloucester’s sheds) are highly recommended and provide a valuable insight into how steam locomotive workings in each area were organised. It should be added that both books are absolute bargains at £25 in this day and age!

West Somerset Railway Association

This book is a complete dedication by this enthusiast to his subject. This author has again excelled on his subject, providing much detail, photographs and maps. This is the third in the series of in depth studies off Western Region locomotive sheds described as a busy and fascinating rail centre of which it was. Many modellers enjoy the Western Region (GWR), and, I believe, would find these books full of very relevant information. I have to comment on the thoroughness that Steve has applied to all three of his publications so far.

Review by Andy Thomson

This offering comes highly recommended and is a must-buy whether or not you are Worcester based!

"The Mancunian" the journal of the Manchester Locomotive Society

Reviewed alongside Gloucester Locomotive Sheds and Hereford Locomotive Shed

All in all, the three volumes are an outstanding album of photographs and historical memories which deserve a place on every Great Western Railway enthusiast's shelf.

6024 Preservation Society

The way that the shed functioned is clearly described and, once again, it is backed up with many fine photographs. An excellent book and a “must” for any GWR enthusiast!

The Engine Shed Society

The vast subject of 85A is well-documented for the first time and enlivened by over 200 carefully selected photos taken in the district, and some exceptionally clear track diagrams. Highly recommended.

Severn Valley Railway News, Autumn 2020

This book is quite brilliant and is a great addition to the few books that have featured Worcester as a Railway Town, Well done to Steve for collating so much information on our behalf and creating such a brilliant Railway book that will be sought after for years.

Chris Wilkinson, Worcester Locomotive Society, September 2020

About Steve Bartlett

Steve Bartlett is a fourth generation railwayman, with railways in his blood.


His father was Swindon Works trained, becoming a Western Region District Running & Maintenance Officer, his grandfather also worked at Swindon Works in Great Western days and his great grandfather was a station master at Staverton in Devon for twenty five years from 1898 to 1923.


As a young teenager the author recorded the last days of Western Region steam, before joining the railway in 1966.


He then spent almost forty years working in rail operations and managing timetable planning, locomotive and train crew diagramming before finally working on West Coast Route Modernisation.He now researches and writes about the latter days of steam, mainly on the former Great Western, specialising in locomotive depots, their allocations and operational duties.


He lives in Nantwich in Cheshire and is married with two grown up sons and five grandchildren.

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