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Southport MPD (Motive Power Depot) is a former LMS railway depot located in the town of Southport, Merseyside.[1]

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HistoryEdit

Derby Road shed first opened in 1890 under the ownership of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. In January 1935 under the ownership of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Derby Road was given the shed-code number 23C which it was to have for the remainder of its days under the LMS and for the first two years of British Railways ownership. From 1948 Derby Road shed became part of the Liverpool Bank Hall area and in June 1950 the shedcode was changed from 23C to 27C.

Following the grouping of the four pre-grouping company's into BR Southport shed was given the code 23C in 1950 and was to be one of the shed's in the Liverpool Bank Hall area, the shedcode 23C, however, would not last for too long as the Liverpool Bank Hall area was changed to 27 from June 1950 with the shedcode being changed to 27C at the same time.

The main loco allocations to Derby Road shed over the years were LMS Black 5 4-6-0's including the two Caprotti valve gear black 5's no's 44686 & 44687, alongside the two Caprotti geared black 5's two engines which would later be preserved were also allocated to the shed. These engines being 44767 (the unique Stephenson valve gear black 5) & 45337 which were allocated to Derby road in 1962 & 1963 respectively.[2] As well as the black 5's other class allocations included: BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0's, LMS Compound 4-4-0's, LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T's, LMS Fowler 2-6-4T's, LMS Fowler Class 4F 0-6-0's alongside numerous pre LMS machines.

Final years of BREdit

In September 1963 Derby Road's shedcode number was changed from 27C to 8M and was transferred from the Bank Hall section of Liverpool to Edge Hill, which it was to carry until the sheds final closure in June 1966. During the time when diesel's were taking over from steam engines none of the then-modern diesels were allocated to Derby Road's 27C (later 8M) shed. Allocation of steam engines to the shed ceased in November 1965 and by the end of the year just seven engines were left allocated to the shed, these being three black 5's and 4 Fairburn tanks. The majority were transferred to other depots with one of the black 5's (one of the Caprotti geared black 5's, no 44687) being withdrawn from service. The depot closed on Mon 6 Jun 1966 with the final engines being removed from the site by the 18 Jun.

Steamport SouthportEdit

Derby Road shed closed completely in 1966 prior to the withdrawal of steam traction on the British Railways network and alongside being stripped of recoverable materials the building was also heavily vandalised over the years. In 1971 a group of people got together with plans to start up a museum on the former locomotive shed. The building, however, was heavily in need of repairs as there was no track in certain places, the yard was covered in rubble, the shed building had no glass in the roof, the electricity and water supplies had been cut off and BR had severed the rail connection to the shed.

Following negotiations with BR regarding a lease of the site and buildings the site was occupied by the group in 1973 allowing the necessary repairs to be undertaken alongside laying track in the shed and by August of the same year, the first steam engines began to arrive on the site. In 1974 an agreement was reached regarding a connection from BR to the shed, the connection being made through land adjacent to the former goods depot at Kensington Road. By August 1974, the first main line steam locomotive's had arrived which were an LMS Jinty 0-6-0 no 47298 (which was rescued from Barry Scrapyard) & LMS Black five 4-6-0 no 44806 which at that point had been named Magpie. 44806 Had prior to moving to Derby Road shed been based at the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway but after a crack in the engines firebox opened up which wasn't possible to repair at Haverthwaite due to it being beyond their capability's.

Other locomotives that would be based at Derby Road prior to being restored or where restoration was undertook included: BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 no 76079 & GWR 5101 Class 2-6-2T no 5193 (later rebuilt as 9351).

In 1978 a 60-foot turntable was Purchased from BR and was moved from its then location York by rail to Derby Road, the former L&YR turntable pit had prior to the lease of the shed to the group been filled in with rubble so before the turntable could be installed this needed removal first. The shed was also during the 1980s popular with steam hauled excursion trains including the regular "Southport Visitor" trains which would run from Southport to Manchester and back via Wigan while hauled by a visiting mainline approved steam engines. Visiting engines for these trains included: 4472 Flying Scotsman, 5407, 5593 Kolhapur, 44932 & 45596 Bahamas.

Around 2000 it was decided to close the museum at Derby Road and relocate to Preston and form the Ribble Steam Railway, following the closure of the museum the shed and additional buildings were demolished to make way for the new central 12 shopping park which would be built on top of the former shed. Nothing remains of the shed today apart from the former gates opposite the Bacon Factory at Windsor Road which are visible from the footbridge.

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