Heaton TMD

Coordinates: 54°59′13″N 1°33′54″W / 54.987°N 1.565°W / 54.987; -1.565
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Heaton TMD
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne, England
Coordinates54°59′13″N 1°33′54″W / 54.987°N 1.565°W / 54.987; -1.565
OS gridNZ278659
Depot code
  • 52B (1948-1967)
  • HT (1973-present)[1]
TypeElectric, HST, DMU
OriginalNorth Eastern Railway
Pre-groupingNorth Eastern Railway

Heaton TMD is a railway traction maintenance depot situated in the Heaton area of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, it is located next to the East Coast Main Line, around 2 miles (3 km) east of Newcastle Central station. Heaton was a sub-shed of Gateshead between 1963 and 1967.


NER Class J21 No.65110 in ex-works condition at Heaton Shed, 1954
Ex-NER No.26500/BR Class ES1 at Heaton Shed

Originally built by the North Eastern Railway to provide steam locomotives serving principally the extensive Heaton marshalling yards and freight traffic, but also a considerable proportion of main line and local passenger traffic from Newcastle Central.

The location meant that it provided motive power to the .75 miles (1.21 km) and steep Riverside Branch. Unliked by crews due to the need to pass through three tunnels and the resultant toxic smoke in their cabs, in 1905 it was electrified using 750 VDC technology, with power supplied via both overhead catenary and, within the tunnels, third-rail. Both of the BTH/Brush 640 hp (BR Class ES1) locomotives were based at Heaton, designed as a Bo-Bo with central cab. They worked from the shed until 1967.

Coded 52B in the NE Region (Newcastle District) under British Railways, in 1954 it had an allocation of 95 locomotives, comprising:16x 4-6-2; 17x 2-6-2; 1x 4-4-0; 14x 2-6-0 (9 LNE + 5 LMS-type); 14x 0-6-0; 12x 2-6-2T; 1x 0-6-2T; 18x 0-6-0T; and 2x ES1's.[2]

On 22 March 2022 a TransPennine Express Class 802 derailed at Heaton depot and collided with concrete barriers. There were no injuries reported.[3]


After demolition and redevelopment to diesel traction in the 1960s by British Railways, today the depot is operated by Northern Trains, and mostly houses stock operated by them and Grand Central. The depot code is HT.

The basic allocation consists of Class 156 and British Rail Class 158 diesel multiple units operated by Northern. Although not allocated to the depot, Class 180 and Class 800 units, TransPennine Express and London North Eastern Railway storing units and/or contracting out maintenance at this depot.

Northern Class 158s and Class 150s also regularly visit Heaton for maintenance.

Network Rail's New Measurement Train is allocated to Heaton and can be seen stored on site, although not as regular as it used to be. Maintenance on its recording equipment is carried out at the Railway Technical Centre in Derby.

Sewage and clean out[edit]

Heaton is used by the main express operator of the East Coast Main Line to store stock overnight. In 2004–06, this led to a dispute between the RMT and then operator GNER. Legally in the UK, train operators are allowed to discharge 5 imperial gallons (23 L; 6.0 US gal) of sewage per carriage per journey, onto the railtrack. Most Mk3 carriages have only holding tanks, not fully compliant toilet tanks. Further, Heaton then had no toilet clean-out facilities. However, in the 2000s both the RMT and politicians were concerned at the environmental impact of this legacy issue. In 2006 the RMT agreed waste tank and clean out developments at Heaton with GNER, plus new clean out procedures at all other depots, to solve an ongoing dispute over sewage spray.[4]


The depot is closed to the general public. Only those with an official pass can access the depot, or those attending the occasional open days organised by Northern.

The nearest station, from which the depot can also be seen, is Chillingham Road Metro station,[5] whilst the nearest mainline station is Manors. The entrance to the site is from Benfield Road, just south of where the ECML crosses it.



  1. ^ "The all-time guide to UK Shed and Depot Codes" (PDF). TheRailwayCentre.com. 5 May 2006. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "File:Heaton Locomotive Depot geograph-2354955-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg - Wikimedia Commons". Commons.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Newcastle train derailment causes rush-hour disruption". BBC News. 22 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Toilet waste 'sprays' track staff". BBC News. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  5. ^ "depot information northern". Retrieved 4 October 2011.


  • Baker, S.K. (1980) [1977]. Rail Atlas of Britain (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-106-4.
  • Baker, S.K. (2007) [1977]. Rail Atlas - Great Britain & Ireland (11th ed.). Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-86093-602-2.