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NER 1896 North Eastern Railway Works
THE NORTH-EASTERN RAILWAY WORKS.
The locomotive works of the North-Eastern Railway are situated on the south bank of the Tyne, not far removed from the Stephenson High-Level Bridge. The site was originally that of an extensive goods station, and several of the shop buildings remain just as they were in those days, but in 1883 and 1884 the works were largely rebuilt, extended, and reorganised.
Some old associations, however, still remain, a particularly tender one among the elder hands being that, through a certain window in the office building, which in former days was a railway hotel, whiskeys and soda used to be passed, in cold weather to keep out the cold, and in warm weather to keep out the heat . Some of the shops, too, still retain signs of their former occupation, as for example the jib cranes in the wheel and axle shop, which was originally a large store, and there are general points of arrangement in other departments which are evidently not those of an establishment designed for the construction of locomotives.
A general plan of these works will be found on page 608, and is so complete that it will save a great deal of description. We may, however, draw particular attention to the fine running shed with four turntables, a perspective view of which will found on page 612, and contrast it with the old running shed, which is now used as a paint shop. The works at present give employment to between 1500 and 1600 men. There is a branch establishment at Darlington, where nearly the same number of hands is employed, and another at York, where some 800 men find work. This is as far as regards engines and tenders only.
The number of men employed in carriage work is approximately 850 at Gateshead, 500 at Shildon, and 1800 at York. The total staff in the employment of the North Eastern Railway is 88,000. The exact statement as given below may perhaps be of use to some of our readers. There are at Gateshead, fitting, erecting, boiler, and smiths' shops, a small foundry and pattern loft, and several smaller shops devoted to light work, such as the white-smithy, tube repairing, &c. Here also are situated the principal offices of the company and the testing laboratory.
A flourishing mechanics' institute open to all members of the North-Eastern Railway should also be mentioned. In the pages of the present number will be found illustrations of the principal Gateshead and Darlington shops and a view of the large carriage department at York.