Brunel Discovery At Paddington

27 October 2014

Crossrail archaeologists have uncovered significant Brunel remnants on a Costain site in west London.

The discoveries include foundations for three Brunel train sheds and workshops, dating back to the 1850s and a 45ft turntable from the 1880s. 

To celebrate the finds, the Paddington New Yard project opened its doors to the public for a once in a life time tour of the structures with the archaeologists and engineers working on the construction site.

At Westbourne Park the Crossrail service will cut through an area previously used as a concrete batching plant, bus storage area and in more recent times the hub for the western tunnels construction.

The Costain project involves construction of a new bus elevated bus deck, relocation of a concrete batching plant, track beds and landscaping the tunnel portal which Costain previously constructed in 2010 in joint venture with Skanska.

“The broad-gauge engine shed was constructed in 1852/1853 and came into use from 1854 when Brunel's new Paddington Station opened," said Crossrail archaeologist Ian Williamson. "The shed measured 202m and had four sets of tracks with inspection pits running along their full length.  Interestingly, the evidence we have found shows that although originally constructed to use Brunel's 7ft wide broad-gauge the engine shed was converted to run Stevenson's narrow gauge.

“The turntables date to 1881/1882 and were constructed by the Great Western Railways (GWR) works at Swindon. They were located at the western end of the engine shed to which it allowed access. Within the brick super structures there was a wrought iron 'turning circle' decked with timber on which both broad-gauge and narrow gauge engines could be turned. 

"All three of these buildings were pulled down in 1906 when the site was redeveloped as a new goods yard for GWR."





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