Leeds Weeklyn Hill MPD

A 1960's Steam/Diesel shed set in the heart of Leeds

Shed History

Above a map of the railways of Leeds showing the location of Weeklyn Hill shed near Central Station.

 

In the first decade of the 20th Century Leeds Holbeck shed was unable to cope with the vast number of engines that were arriving and departing and with a lack of space surrounding the shed to increase in size a new location was needed and Leeds Weeklyn Hill was built to cope with this demand.

As the railway boom by this time had passed its peak the shed was never going to be as big or important as its boss shed simply becoming a layover point for engines coming out of Central and City stations. As a result of this Weeklyn Hill never had an allocation of locos nor a shed code to call its own it simply borrowed Holbeck's and later on it life Copley Hill and Neville Hill locos also stabled here before onward movement.

There was plans to add a turntable to the site but lack of space at the time meant that a triangle was built outside the shed which allowed engines to turn on arrival or departure. However the LMS who took over control of the shed in the 1920's built a new coaling tower on the site to speed up refuelling which prior to this had been done by shovels from a coal drop above the tenders.

In 1948 the shed became part of BR and was still under control of the Midland region that did little or nothing to the site as there was no need to change anything. This all changed when in the mid-1950's the shed became part of the North-Eastern region of BR who a few years later installed the first diesel fuel point in Leeds so as not to cause disruption at Holbeck.

Shortly afterwards a purpose built 2 road diesel shed was built on site with further alterations moving the diesel fuel point away from the steam engines which was a common cause of failure amongst the early diesels. It is believed that it was this investment early in the diesel era that resulted in Weeklyn Hill out-lasting its master shed Holbeck as its smaller size made it more suited to the needs of the modern network.

The coaling tower was demolished in 1969 with the associated lines turned over to DMU stabling and a wash-plant installed to clean locos and units. As the diesel did not need cleaning out from underneath the pit was filled in with rubble from the coaling tower and used to stable the breakdown crane.

As the 1970’s progressed and the HST's replaced many of the loco hauled trains this was again seen as the end of Weeklyn Hill, yet miraculously the shed survived because the HST's used Neville Hill so the locos had to go elsewhere to make room for the new state of the art trains.

The 1980’s saw the shed transfer to Railfreight division where open days where held every year which culminated in the 1987 event where a class 56 received the name “Leeds Weeklyn Hill”. These open days often saw a good mix of steam and diesel share shed space – some of which visited the shed in their working lives and were well supported by the public.

Sadly the shed’s luck ran out in 1992 when lack of investment saw the shed become unsafe and with the railway now turned over to mass DMU operation the shed was deemed surplus to requirements and as such was closed in October 1992 with demolition commencing soon after.

Attempts to save the shed for preservation proved fruitless and this once great shed is no more.