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Plumstead Depot

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Details: This is a view of the Elizabeth Line depot in Plumstead looking north, which I reckon dates from the first half of 2019. There is a quite a lot to mention here so I have annotated the photo. The entire site here was first developed during the construction of the Crossrail lines and tunnels for the Abbey Wood branch. Before that it appears to have just been open ground, although it is notable that the diagonal border of the east edge of the site follows the alignment of a long-since removed railway track into the military facilities at Thamesmead marshes.

Marked A on the photo is the 'Ridgeway', a public foot-/cycle-path that makes use of the raised earthworks covering the Southern Outfall sewer. The path runs from near Plumstead station all the way to Crossness sewage works near the river. It was from this path that I first saw an Elizabeth Line service vehicle in the yard marked B (photo here). This yard was created in about 2018 for use by the numerous construction contractor's vehicles, although it was also used to store Elizabeth Line vehicles for a while. In the photo shown here, about a dozen of the vehicles at the top and right edges are actual service vehicles. Marked C is another interesting sight, this being a couple of isolated stretches of railway track. These have been used to store rolling stock that was used in construction trains, pending its removal. At the time of this photo, a blue diesel shunter was parked here.

The location marked D appears to be the 'permanent' place for service vehicles to be kept. This yard adjoins White Hart Avenue (the road that runs diagonally across the centre) but, as has been shown, there is a substantial fence hiding it. The road entrance to the depot is at the opposite end of the dark grey building. Location E is the main car park, and often has one or two service vehicles parked in it, although on one occasion I found almost the whole fleet there. This yard has a less obstructive fence and can be easily viewed from the road, the photo linked having been taken at point F.

The main Elizabeth Line depot is at Old Oak Common, with stabling sidings also at Shenfield. As can be seen, a number of sidings are being laid at Plumstead, so some trains may be kept here. However, the main use seems to be for the maintenance trains. Several of these yellow machines can be seen at point G, and these can also be viewed from the road. The fleet comprises four Robel multi-purpose vehicles (each with a cab), which are used in conjunction with three adapted container wagons, and a 2-unit Linsinger rail milling machine.

Moving to the bottom of the photo, point H is where the new tracks enter the tunnel, while point I shows the pre-existing North Kent line, served by Southeastern and Thameslink trains between Plumstead and Abbey Wood.

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