Each steam locomotive was allocated to a particular shed and an oval, cast metal plate with the depot code was bolted to the smokebox on the front of the locomotive. When locomotives were transferred between sheds the plate was taken off and replaced with one from the new shed. Locomotives moved between a parent depot and its sub-sheds did not need this change as they shared the same code.
With the introduction of diesel and electric motive power the system of allocation became changed. Main line locomotives were capable of operating greater distances between servicing and, very often, depots only held the equipment and spare parts for servicing a limited range of locomotive classes. This resulted in them being allocated to a smaller number of depots and reallocations became less common. For instance, the 309 Western Region diesel-hydraulic locomotives 74 Class 52 diesel-hydraulics were only ever allocated to six depots. This meant that many depots only had allocations of shunting locomotives, and some locomotives did not carry allocation plates. Those that did had them in a variety of positions: Class 42s on the underframe below the cab but near-identical Class 43s on the front next to the left buffer; after 1967 the code was generally painted on the bodywork near the cab door.
Read more about this topic: List Of British Railways Shed Codes
Famous quotes containing the word locomotive:
“The American people have done much for the locomotive, and the locomotive has done much for them.”
—James A. Garfield (18311881)