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BR Steam Allocations
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In August 1968, British Rail finally abolished steam traction. This marked the completion of one aspect of the 1955 British Railways Modernisation plan, which sought to replace steam with diesel and electric traction  

The BR STEAM ALLOCATIONS database is a comprehensive list of all steam locomotive allocations, transfers and withdrawals from the Spring of 1960 (when "Evening Star," the last steam engine to be built for British Railways was completed) until the end of steam in 1968.

Unlike our competitors, BR STEAM ALLOCATIONS does not simply give a list of locomotive histories, or year-by-year snapshots of locomotive allocations.

is believed to be the only product that will give you details of month-by-month changes in the allocation of Britain's last steam locomotives.

With BR STEAM ALLOCATIONS, you can look at individual engine histories, and allocation histories for every depot with a steam allocation, from May 1960 each month until its closure to steam, and right up until August 1968.  


 (The photograph on the cover shows Standard Class 5 no 73092, in not the best of condition (as were most steam engines at the time!), waiting to leave Weymouth on the 1212 to Bournemouth on the last day of steam on the Southern region, 8th July 1967)

The database can be sorted by column to provide different lists. By way of examples, sorting the table by “years’ service” will tell you which were the longest and shortest-lived engines.

Sorting by “builder” will give lists of the engines built in each works or outside manufacturer.

Sorting by the withdrawn column will give you a list of all withdrawal dates in chronological order

There are three tabs within the file. Click on "list" to see a list of BR depots in May 1960 in numerical order (1A to 89C) and the dates they closed to steam. Depots that were still open in May 1960, but had already closed to steam, are also shown.

Click on the "sheds" tab to see a list of depots and their codes, when they were closed to steam, and how many engines were allocated to each depot in May 1960.

Between 1960 and 1968, many sheds had their allocation codes changed for a variety of reasons. This file gives you details of what those changes were, and when they happened.

This can be useful if, for example, you always thought of Newton Heath as "9D" and you wonder why "26A" has been used in the files!

On the "running shed list" tab the total for each depot is then broken down to show the locomotive's origin (ie. whether it was ex- Great Western, Southern, LMS, LNER, Standard or WD Austerity)

This Excel file lists the sheds to which all 14,035 engines in service in April 1960 were allocated, and details of all subsequent changes until the month and year of withdrawal.

The “adjusted code” column shows the shed code that applied to that depot in 1960. This enables comparisons to be made to locomotive allocations over the years even where a depot's code had changed over the period.

There are three further tabs within the workbook:

Lists all railway workshops and outside contractors that built any of the 14,035 locomotives in service in April 1960, and gives separate totals for the numbers of locomotives built for the four pre-nationalisation railway companies, BR standard and wartime austerity locomotives.

Click on "decline" to see how the 14,035 locomotives in service in May 1960 were withdrawn, month by month, until August 1968. This table also gives a breakdown of the total remaining engines each month by origin.

Click on "Chronology by region" to see the list of depot closures within each of the six BR regions as they existed in 1960 (Southern, Western, London Midland, Eastern, North Eastern and Scottish), listed in the order of closure. This sheet tells you, amongst many other things, which were the last sheds to close in each region.

This is the clever bit, that none of our competitors appear to have thought of! This was also the section that took the longest to build, which may be the reason why nobody else has bothered with it!

This lists all locomotives down the page, and all months from May 1960 to August 1968 along the page, then shows a shed allocation code against each locomotive for each month. With this file, by using the "data filter" facility in Excel, you can plot the way that a depot's allocation changed over the period, and it will also show you which depots still retained a steam allocation month by month.

This database also allows you to see how steam power was gradually run down region by region. As locomotives disappear from the table after they have been withdrawn, you can see which depots still had a steam allocation for each month. For example, the table not only tells you that 24 depots still had a steam allocation in September 1967, it also tells you which depots they were. This can be repeated for all the months in the table. The example above is a small extract from the full table showing a few ex-SR engines for illustrative purposes.

Here are a couple of examples of the information you will have at your fingertips with just a few clicks of your mouse. The allocation list for Templecombe (82G) in April 1961 is on the left:

And on the right, the allocation list for Helmsdale (60C) in September 1960 (and yes, there were a couple of ex-GWR 0-6-0PTs up there at the time!)

Whilst you can only see the full picture of the last years of British steam with the whole database it may well be that, for example, you live in Scotland and have little interest in what was happening in Kent. Or, if you live in Kent, you might not be interested in Scottish allocations. And any other permutation you might like to think of!

The database is also available in sections as shown below:

1. Ex- GWR locomotives 1000 to 9799

2. Ex- SR locomotives W4 to W36, and 30021 to 35030

3. Ex-LMSR locomotives 40001 to 58850

4. Ex- LNER locomotives 60001 to 69921

5. BR Standard and WD locomotives 70000 to 92250

6. All locomotives working on the Western Region of BR 1960 to 1968

7. All locomotives working on the Southern Region of BR 1960 to 1968

8. All locomotives working on the London Midland Region of BR 1960 to 1968

9. All locomotives working on the Eastern and North Eastern Regions of BR 1960 to 1968

10. All locomotives working on the Scottish Region of BR 1960 to 1968

All BR Steam Allocations products are available as data downloads.


The National database retails at £34.95. The Regional databases retail at £7.95 each.

Please click on the icon above for details of how to buy

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