The History of the Longsight Depot

The Birmingham & Manchester Railway Company were the pioneers of railway construction in the Longsight area. They began pushing their track through Longsight in 1836 and completed the line to Birmingham by 1842. The company commissioned the construction of a number of buildings at a depot to be built in Longsight. It was their plan to locate a locomotive works and an engine shed in Longsight. The tender accepted for this work was for £14,000. The original engine shed was a hexagonal roundhouse. This was later replaced by a straight shed built next to the main line. This shed had 4 roads and two of them had pits. In the 1848 map, shown opposite, the round house appears more circular that octagonal. Notice that in 1842 the row of terraced houses, known as Tank Row, was already in place, as was the reservoir.

1848 Map of Longsight

In 1865 the company extended the shed to accommodate 8 roads. It had a 24 foot turntable. The first modern shed was built in 1869 and opened in 1870. It was a brick building with hipped roofs accommodating 12 roads. The yard also had a large "tank-over" coal stage. These two sheds stood side-by-side with just 1 track running between them. The original roundhouse was no longer in uses and was demolished in 1876. That year a carriage shed was built next to the main line.

The map below shows the depot in 1895.
1895 Map of Longsight

In 1905, a new shed was built at Longsight. It cost £30,000. A large coal stage was built at the north end of the yard. The eight road building went out of use at that time and a new 50 foot turntable was installed.

In 1907, a second 50 foot turntable was built at the north end of the yard. In that year a 950 foot long carriage shed capable of accommodating 13 roads was built next to the new engine shed. Together the new sheds could accommodate 58 locos under cover.

By 1912 Longsight was home to more than 200 locos most of which were express locomotives.

Longsight became the property of the L.M.S. in the Twenties but few additions were made to the depot until 1934. That year a No1 size coaling plant, 2 ash plants and a 60 foot turntable were added.

The South Shed at the Longsight Depot
The South Sheds in 1930s

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Below: The Longsight Depot in the 1940s
Below:  Longsight Station in the 1940s



A.  New Bank Street
E.  Ramp to Pedestrian Tunnel
B.  Kirkmanshulme Lane
F.  Signal Gantry
C.  Longsight Station Approach
G.  Footbridge
D.  Longsight Station
H.  Reservoir

The footbridge can be seen in the image below, shown here with the permission of Graham Todd.


In 1948 the North Shed was given a louvre style roof.
The North Sheds at the Longsight Depot
Longsight North Sheds in the 1950s

The South Shed was modernized in 1957 at a cost of £120,000. This was done in part to convert it to diesel service.

Longsight Sheds in the 1950s
Fred Dillnutt at work (above right) at the Longsight Depot in the 1950s
 - image donated by Lynda Lynch
The image above was genereously donated by Les Cotton

Steam locos continued to be located at Longsight until 1963 but dieselization and electrification of passenger service began in the late 1950s.


The 5 images below are shown here with the permission of David Ingham of Bury in Lancashire.


The south end of Longsight carriage shed, Manchester. Sunday15th January 1984



British Railways English Electric locomotive number 40104 standing on number 12 road of Longsight carriage shed, Sunday 15th January 1984


British Railways diesel-electric locomotive number 47069 inside the South shed at Longsight Diesel Traction Maintenance Depot, Thursday 8th December 1983




British Railways diesel-mechanical multiple units inside the North shed at Longsight Diesel TMD, Manchester. Sunday 25th February 1984


A view inside the North shed at Longsight Diesel TMD, Manchester. Sunday 25th February 1984.

The location of the former Longsight Station
image donated by Les Cotton


Above:  The location of Longsight Station in 1999 from the east side of the bridge on Kirkmanshulme Lane.  Note the sheds in the distance.

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Today the Longsight Depot is one of five Alstom Traincare Centres.  Alstom say of the facility that it, "maintains the fleet of 52 tilting Virgin Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line. It houses the control headquarters where the Pendolino full service regime, as well as maintenance operations for other customers, is planned. Under the Pendolino full service regime, Alstom provides 47 trains for service seven days per week, 364 days per year. The fleet covers 16.5 million miles per year. As well as the 12 Pendolino trainsets that arrive at Manchester each night for service, the site receives approximately 26 other trains."  The images below were taken in December 2010 and you can see a Cross County train in the sheds.