Kidderminster Diesel Depot, also sometimes referred to as the TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot (Traction Maintenance Depot), stands on the space of ground between the Kidderminster Carriage Shed and the Kidderminster Footbridge, and is used to maintain most of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's fleet of Diesel locomotives. Although visible from the footbridge across the station throat, the site is not directly visible to SVRSevern Valley Railway visitors until they have boarded a train and are departing towards Bewdley. The Depot is normally closed to the public, but may be open during special events such as Diesel Galas and the annual Open House Weekend.
Although the names 'Diesel Depot' and 'Traction Maintenance Depot' are synonymous and refer to the entire site, the term 'Diesel Depot' is frequently used to refer specifically to the large workshop building opened in 2016.
In July 2018 the depot was given a TOPS location code - 65942, and is listed as 'Kidderminster Traction Maintenance Depot Severn Valley Railway'. On Network Rail's open data TRUST timetabling system the TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot is 'Kidderminster Tmd (Svr)', although trains may only be timetabled to 'Kidderminster S.V.R.'.
The area in which the Diesel Depot is situated was formerly the north end of Kidderminster goods yard's bottom yard. Little evidence of the original goods yard remains apart from the former Shunter's Cabin which is still in situ near the entrance to the Depot.
Early plans for a Diesel Depot maintenance building involved re-erecting a building from the former Burton-upon-Trent Diesel Depot, originally bought by The Western Locomotive Association, dismantled and stored at Kidderminster. However it transpired that changes to building regulations would have made the cost greater than if new steelwork was used, and the plans were shelved.
During the mid-2000s, plans for a purpose built facility were drawn up at the request of the SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) Board. These were approved and detailed design work was under way when the SVRSevern Valley Railway was hit by the 2007 flood damage. After a delay while repairs to the railway were made, a revised plan was prepared in 2009 which reduced the amount of contaminated ground that would need to be removed where the facility would be built. Fund raising at the time included the proceeds of the Autumn 2009 SVRA raffle. Members of Wyre Forest District Council’s planning committee approved an application in March 2013 and 2014 saw the site cleared by the groups who had locomotives and parts stored there, vegetation cleared and the track lifted in preparation. Construction of the new restoration and storage building eventually took place during 2015. Principal contractor was C21 Construction Ltd.
The General Manager was quoted as saying the project value was £800,000. Funding was provided in part by a loan from HSBC to SVR(H), the full loan amount of £372,000 was drawn down in October 2015 and was converted to a fifteen year fixed term loan on 11 March 2016. The Guarantee Company subscribed £25,000 for this project and contributions were also made by Charitable Trust (£67,600 in 2015-16) and diesel preservation groups. The SVRSevern Valley Railway Diesel Shed webpage (archived) listed as at 2016 the following groups as involved in the project: The Diesel Traction Group, The Fifty Fund, The Western Locomotive Association, The Class 08 Society, The SVR DMU Group, 12099 and Somerset Traction Ltd (D8188). Other supporting companies listed were CADdata, GBRfGB Railfreight, a main line rail freight operating company., Locomaster Profiles, Strathwood Publications, Virgin Trains and Visions International.
This valuable facility contains three roads, with facilities including a pit and an overhead crane allowing the restoration of these complex but useful locomotives to take place. Previously facilities had been in the open air, with volunteers being exposed to the elements. The new depot provides 1,000 square meters of covered space, two locomotive inspection pits, lifting jacks, and a 10 tonne overhead travelling crane. The first locomotives entered the Diesel Depot on 30 January 2016. On 20 May 2016 the Chairman of Network Rail unveiled a plaque to celebrate the opening of the Diesel Depot.
D7029 was the first locomotive to enter the depot on 30 Jan 2016, breaking through a ceremonial ribbon (Jeff Atkins)
D3022 in the Diesel Depot on 30 Jan 2016 (Jeff Atkins)
The Depot is also home to a separate mess room facility for diesel group volunteers, as well as one of the railway's sleeping coaches, which offers overnight accommodation to volunteers.
- Kidderminster TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot appeal November 2016 - In November 2016 the SVR's Diesel Groups and the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd launched a fundraising campaign to improve facilities, ring fenced for diesel projects only. These include a purpose-built workshop for restoring and maintaining component parts, and an amenity block for overnight accommodation, toilet and washing facilities. By 2020 this appeal referred instead to "funding of a raft of new equipment for the Diesel Depot [..] mostly aimed at making the work there safer and more efficient".
- New lifting jacks - In 2017 SVR(H) purchased four new 35t Mechan lifting jacks with a total cost of £122,426, £58,300 of which was funded by the Diesel Groups, a shareholder and other donations. These jacks can lift all diesels currently based on the Railway and offer the opportunity for further contract work.
- In September 2017 trackwork remodelling allowed access and stabling outside all shed roads in the South yard.
- AWSAutomatic Warning System, a form of limited cab signalling introduced in 1956 ramps - In April 2018 the railway obtained from Network Rail and Siemens two AWSAutomatic Warning System, a form of limited cab signalling introduced in 1956 ramps recovered from Birmingham New Street Resignalling (Phase 4/5), which were installed in Kidderminster Yard to test home fleet and visiting locomotive AWSAutomatic Warning System, a form of limited cab signalling introduced in 1956 systems before they leave for the main line.
The Charitable Trust made further grants in 2018 and 2019.
50049 Defiance having its engine replaced
In January 2017 it was announced that the Diesel Depot had won the 2016 Heritage Railway Association award for Modern Traction for its "major contribution to modern traction preservation".
Diesel locomotives visiting the SVRSevern Valley Railway for contract overhauls
The TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot earns revenue for the SVRSevern Valley Railway by offering the use of its facilities for overhauls, repairs and repainting of visiting mainline and preserved locomotives either as part of arrangements for visiting traction at galas and special events, or separately.
The TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot is an SVRSevern Valley Railway asset and the Railway may from time to time use it for other purposes, such as maintenance of its engineering wagon fleet. In Summer 2022 newly overhauled GWR 4930 Hagley Hall was painted there.
- Kidderminster station
- Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd
- SVR's Diesel Groups
- Steam and diesel locomotives visiting the SVR for contract overhauls
- Location Codes on www.railwaycodes.org.uk
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 166
- SVR Diesel Shed webpage (archived) (Retrieved 18 July 2018)
- 'Severn Valley Railway unveils £800,000 Kidderminster Diesel Depot', Kidderminster Shuttle, 21 May 2016 (Retrieved 18 July 2018)
- SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) Annual Report for the period ending 2 January 2018
- Minutes of the Severn Valley Railway Company Limited AGM 20 August 2016
- SVR Charitable Trust Report and Financial Statements 30 June 2017
- SVR NBI-H-203 "SVRSevern Valley Railway Diesel Locomotive Maintenance Depot" 22 Dec 2014
- SVR Charitable Trust, "Kidderminster Diesel Depot" (Retrieved 16 February 2017)
- SVRLive, "Kidderminster TMD Appeal" (Retrieved 16 February 2017)
- SVR Charitable Trust, "Diesel projects" (Retrieved 26 January 2020)
- Kidderminster Shuttle
Latest news on SVRLive Kidderminster Diesel Depot page