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March Whitemoor Marshalling Yard in BR days              ( page 7 of 7 )


March Railways

 Heritage Railways


Whitemoor Marshalling Yard  

Whitemoor Marshalling Yard in early 1970s

 Whitemoor Marshalling Yard in early 1970s

March Whitemoor Marshalling yard was very big. This photo from the road bridge shows just the south end. All that is left today is the wooden hut. All this track bar the Wisbech line was removed be for the new Whitemoor Depot was built.

Starting from the right the grass area is today a embankment. The now closed Wisbech line goes off to the right behind Whitemoor junction signal box. The up yard comes in from far rear. Then the GN&GEJR line from Spalding now closed. Then the Down Yard. the large goods shed can be made out to the left. The tracks curving to the left were to the MPD

The flat empty Fen land was ideal for a marshalling yard and March was picked for a new large yard. This opened on 3rd march 1929 on the site of an old yard on the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway line. There was just 24 sidings in the old yard. 1,265 Wagons was all these siding could hold. There was about 3,000 wagons a day though these sidings . There were other siding in March but wagons were had to held as far away as Peterborough awaiting there turn. Trip working from yard to yard were also slowing things down.

The LNER Decided on a Hump Yard with Frohlich hydraulic brakes the first time they had been used in this country, This was for the up line with 43 sorting sidings were provided with room for 4,000 wagons for 350 desternations. In 1933 a down yard was added and by the start of the Second World War 8000 wagons could be sorted each day.

Trains were stopped at reception sidings the train engine removed, wagons were uncoupled and a cut card made out .This was taken to the control tower by pneumatic tube like the shops use to have. Then NE T1 4-8-0s pushed the wagons over the hump at 2mph (a speedometer was fitted on this engines to get the wright speed) the control tower setting the points the wagons being retarded by the right amount by the retarders. this depended on the number of wagons already in the siding. The wagons were supposed to stop or hit the wagons very slowly and shunter ran along side with a stick in these yards to put on the brakes and help this happen. More siding were added over the years and a large MPD was needed for all the engines for this traffic.

In the 1960s line closures and station closures meant that the need for these large Marshalling yards was no longer needed. On 27th January 1972 the down yard closed . The up yard taking its trains. In 1982 the GN&GEJR line to Spalding was closed. The Departure sidings were now only used and what little traffic there still was transferred to Peterborough.

Whitemoor yard in early 1970s with a Cambridge DMU from Doncaster
Whitemoor yard in early 1970s with a Cambridge DMU from Doncaster

These pages in this part are on March in the 1970s, which still had lots of freight from the then still large Whitemoor yard.

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Pages on March BR
March BR1 DMU for Cambridge + class 31 disused GN&GEJR platforms + deltic at March
March BR2 March MPD class 31182 + a Class 37 + 450487
March BR 3  A class 31 on a sand train past the March North box +class 37118 + a class 31
March BR 4 signal was just to the west of the Norwood Road level crossing
March BR 5 DMU to Doncaster comes round the eastern side of the triangular junction at Whitemoor
March BR 6 class 31251 on frieght + DMU gets the signal to come out of the now disused GN&GEJR platform 1
March BR7 Whitemoor yard in early 1970s +DMU to Cambridge

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Page updated 20/3/2015