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Inside Leeds Midland Road


After No. 66503’s rededication ceremony (see previous page), Freightliner offered The RM team a tour of its Leeds servicing and repair facility, which features a maintenance shed, bogie shop, wheel lathe, fuelling shed, and sidings.

Midland Road depot is in south west Leeds alongside the former Midland Railway main line to Woodlesford, Wakefield and Sheffield, and is close to the Freightliner terminal at Stourton. It has 10 roads, No.1 being nearest the main line, with major buildings including the maintenance shed, bogie shop, fuel shed, and wheel lathe.

This view looking towards Woodlesford shows the covered fuel shed on road No. 6, with No. 66524 on road 5, and the maintenance shed to the right.

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Although much digital technology is employed, it is good to also see an old-style whiteboard being used to record all of the locomotives on shed.

The maintenance shed from the Leeds end, with the line of locomotives on No. 1 road to the right. Just inside the shed on No. 4 road is No. 66547, which was then missing its number because of repairs to the cabs.

Below: A view of No. 1 road from the Woodlesford end featuring a line of 13 locomotives coming on and off repair or on longer-term storage. Nearest the camera is No. 66587, then Nos. 70007, 66596, 66598, 70010, 70003, 66552, 70005, 70009, 70018 and 70013. Although some of the ‘70s’ have been at Leeds for a while, Freightliner says all will be returned to traffic but they are currently awaiting parts. No. 2 road is empty, while No. 3 & 4 roads serve the maintenance shed.

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Leeds Midland Road was built by Pete Waterman’s LNWR in 2003 to service Freightliner Class 66s, but was taken over by the freight firm in 2006 and is now one of the company’s two main servicing and repair sites alongside the one in Crewe, undertaking everything from refuelling to heavy maintenance and repairs. This view inside the maintenance shed shows Nos. 66597, 66519 and 66570 being worked on.

A view of the bogie shop, spare wheel sets, and No. 1 road looking from the car park towards the Leeds direction.

Inside the bogie shop with two Class 66 bogies being worked on. Freightliner now has spare sets to help get locomotives back into service quicker.

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Looking towards Woodlesford from the car park, the wheel lathe building is on the left (road No. 7, the three further sidings out of picture to the far left), the fuel shed in the distance in the middle, and the maintenance shed on the right.

Inside the wheel lathe building with newly-rededicated No. 66503 parked outside. The lathe is sometimes used by other main line and heritage locomotives.

All photos taken on August 9 by Paul Bickerdyke

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