Published 15th March 2012
YORK - The foundations of two former roundhouses have been uncovered next to York station. The discovery was made during preparation work for a major new Network Rail operating centre and training facility.
The York South roundhouses were built by the North Eastern Railway in 1864 on land to the south-west of the station and were used to service and stable steam locomotives until the early 1960s. They featured a central turntable with a number of short roads leading off it that could hold one locomotive each. Although the buildings were demolished after closure, the foundations and pits were simply filled in and covered over.
In recent times the land has been used for what is known as the Engineers Triangle - a triangular track layout built for turning visiting steam locomotives and other vehicles. Controversially, Network Rail wants to remove the triangle to build its new facility - with locomotives being turned instead on the turntable inside the nearby National Railway Museum. The problem with this, however, is that the NRM is not open 24 hours a day and can only be accessed via a depot owned by Siemens.
An alternative solution may be to build another turntable somewhere else. But clearing work around the Engineers Triangle has begun, and the roundhouse pits are now the subject of an archaeological survey.