Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 06, 2017.
Webpage updated: August 24, 2017




When the London and South Western Railway Company opened their extension from Devonport Station to Friary Station, they also opened an Engine Shed to the south of the Goods Shed.  It had one dead-end line and one through line that gave access to the Turntable, which was also accessible from a line outside the Shed.  The Shed measured some 100 feet by 33 feet.

As it housed only four locomotives this quickly proved to be inadequate so in 1905 the London and South Western Railway Company authorized a new Engine Shed capable of taking fifteen locomotives to be built on spare ground near Friary Station.  Comprising a long through brick-built shed, the three roads combined with an external line into a 50-feet diameter turntable at the eastern  end.  A coaling ramp and two water columns were provided on the external line.  The coaling facilities were altered in 1938 to enable it to deal with the modern high tenders.  Offices and stores lined the southern side of the building, where, after 1933, there was also a "crane road" for lifting boilers off the main frames.  Four  sidings were provided for passenger carriages.

The new Engine Shed was completed and presumably opened in 1908, which meant that the small engine shed at Devonport Station could be closed.  In addition to its allocation of 4-4-0 T9 class locomotives for the main line passenger services, it also looked after B4 tanks for dock work and O2 tanks for the Turnchapel Branch.  There was a sub-shed at Callington Station.

Friary Engine Shed and its sub-depot were transferred to the Southern Railway Company in 1923, to British Railways Southern Region in 1947 (as 72D), the Western Region of British Railways in 1958 (as 83H) and finally closed in May 1963, when its last remaining locomotives were moved to Laira Engine Shed.  The buildings were quickly demolished.

The locomotive allocation of Friary Engine Shed, then known as a Motive Power Depot, in January 1946 is given here.