Ilford T&RSMD

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Ilford T&RSMD

Post by Steve Blick on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:57 pm


Bombardier Depot
Ley Street


Lidl Supermarket
Thompson Close


For footbridge
1 Francis Avenue

Situated alongside the Liverpool Street - Colchester - Ipswich line, Ilford first opened in 1949, the depot comprising of two sheds. However, another shed was built, this being opened on the 21st November 1960. Nowadays, Bombardier share the complex with NXEA ( National Express East Anglia ), the latter of which has an allocation of the class 315, 317, 321 and the 360/1 EMU's.

Comprising of a wheel lathe and an impressive 22 roads, the depot and sidings are fairly easy to view, with a yard spanning footbridge helping the cause !

By Car - On the approach to the end of the M11 and signposted for the A12 & A13, bear off to the left, to where you'll join the A406 south. Once on the dual carriageway, get in the 3rd lane and continue along until you see the signs for Ilford and the A118. Take the exit and on the approach to the island, get in the right hand lane and follow the signs for the A118 east. Then turn right at the immediate set of lights and upon passing through the pelican crossing, get over to the right for the A118 for Romford. Bearing right then left, take the 1st exit at the roundabout and continue along the dual carriageway. At the 2nd island, take the 2nd exit for the A12 Newbury Park. Turn left at the mini roundabout and then double back on yourself to park outside the shops on the opposite side of the road. From here, the depot entrance is across the road, sharing the same driveway as a builders merchants. If there are no parking spaces outside the shops, it is ok to park in the depot driveway, as long as visiting is after 12pm on a saturday, as the merchants are closed from then till monday morning. From here, follow the footpath round and partial head on views of the sidings can be seen.

For another view, head back over the railway to the island, taking the 1st exit. As the road bears round to the left, turn 1st left and 1st right into Thompson Close. From here, you can park in the Lidl car park, this giving you side on views of the west end of the depot. Parking is free here for 2 hours only.

The footbridge mentioned above, also gives you a good view of the depot sidings. By returning to the main road, continue along past the shops until you reach a set of traffic lights. Immediately after this, turn left into Francis Street and at the end of here, the entrance to the footbridge can be seen to your left. Parking is extremely tricky here, as all of the bays are either residential only or for local business employees. During the week, traffic wardens constantly patrol the area, so please be careful to where you leave your vehicle. However, if visiting on a sunday, there are no restrictions for parking on a single yellow line.

For one last view, return to the main road and immediately before the set of lights, turn left into Aldborough Road South. From the bridge, partial views of the depot can be had from here.

By Rail - The closest station to Ilford Works is Seven Kings, with a zone 1-4 travelcard sufficing for using this option. A few units can be seen on the approach from the Liverpool Street direction, but the majority on shed will be unsighted. The shunter usually stables around the back of the buildings, giving you very little chance of viewing it, if wishing to not bother getting off the train.

However, from exiting the station, turn right and head down towards the shops. The bridge on Aldborough Road south will be the first vantage point you'll come upon, this being about a 5 minute walk and situated just after the Halfords Auto Centre. From here, it all depends on which vantage point you choose to do next. The footbridge is the closest, so upon returning to the main road, take the 1st right into Elizabeth Avenue and then left into Francis Avenue. The footbridge is situated right at the bottom of this road.

To view the depot sidings on Ley Street, continue over the footbridge and turn left, then left again. Any stock stabled in this area, can be seen by following the footpath past the builders merchants, depot entrance and round to the left. To where the footpath bears right, any units / locos stabled here, will also be seen from the Lidl car park. This in turn could save you at least another 10-15 minute walk, if pushed for time. The only advantage of the car park to this vantage point, is mainly photography reasons, as this area is protected by a double wire meshed fence.

If wishing to use the car park vantage point, cross over by the island and make your way through the bus station, joining Hainault Street. Once crossed over the railway, turn left and follow along until you reach the Fitness First building. From here, make your way across the car park towards the railway, to where views of the mainline can be had, aswell as partial views of the west end of the depot.   To use all four vantage points, you'll need at least 1.5 hours, maybe more, obviously all depending on how long you wish to stay at each one.

Notes - The Lidl car park offers free parking for the first 2 hours, with no ticket needed. As on street parking is extremely difficult in the area, it may be worth parking here for the duration of your visit, this especially if this will be from monday - saturday. Most, if not all of the side streets are permitting parking only, with regular traffic warden patrols. However, sunday visits shouldn't prove to be a problem, as there are no restrictions if parking on a single yellow line.

When viewing from the footbridge and all depending on how tall you are, you'll need to take something to stand on, as the sides are about 6ft. There are tiny holes to see through, but these are very sporadic. It is also worth mentioning when on the bridge...please keep all your equipment, bags etc very close to hand, as the area is a bit on the rough side !

Vantage Points - The shunter usually stables behind the sheds, partially visible from the footbridge and from Aldborough Road South. Given its position, more so of a weekend, getting a clear photograph will prove to be near enough impossible.

As for units ( if you use all vantage points ), everything which is visible, should be idable. Binoculars or a strong zoom lens is recommended though. For some of the stock stabled by the footbridge, only the side numbers will be visible.

If you've looked at a map and wondered why Carriage Mews isn't included in the vantage points, the previous small and broken in parts fence has been replaced by a solid 7-8 ft wooden one, giving you absolutely no view of the sheds at all.

Photos - View from the Lidl car park.
              Sidings view from Ley Street.
              Footbridge view - 1.
              Footbridge view - 2.
              View from Aldborough Road South.

Maps - Road.
           Birds eye.
           Ordnance survey.

Current Allocation:

08573 - RT Rail black
08700 - BR blue

Steve Blick

Posts : 181
Join date : 2017-08-03

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