St Blazey engine shed

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St Blazey
Location Par, Cornwall
Coordinates 50°21′08″N 4°42′33″W / 50.3521°N 4.7092°W / 50.3521; -4.7092Coordinates: 50°21′08″N 4°42′33″W / 50.3521°N 4.7092°W / 50.3521; -4.7092
Operator(s) DB Cargo
Depot code(s) BZ (1973-)[1]
Opened 1874 (1874)
Original Cornwall Minerals Railway
Pre-grouping GWR
Post-grouping GWR
Former depot code(s)
  • SBLZ, STB or SBZ (1877 - 1947)
  • 83E (1948 - 1963)
  • 84B (1963 - 1973)[1]

St Blazey Engine Shed is located in Par, Cornwall, United Kingdom, although it is named after the adjacent village of St Blazey. It was built in 1874 as the headquarters of the Cornwall Minerals Railway but for many years was a depot of the Great Western Railway. The current depot operator (in 2016) is DB Cargo and the depot TOPS code is BZ.


Cornwall Minerals Railway locomotive Treffrey as delivered to the depot in 1874

St Blazey engine shed dates from the opening of the Cornwall Minerals Railway on 1 June 1874. This line linked Fowey and Newquay via Par in Cornwall. The engineer was Sir Morton Peto and he built workshops for the railway on the north side of Par, close to the adjoining town of St Blazey. The workshops included a distinctive roundhouse engine shed of nine 70 feet long roads around a turntable. Each shed road had a 58 feet long pit between the rails for servicing engines. The area also boasted an erecting and repair shop, a fitting shop, a smithy, boiler house and a 2,500 gallon water tower.[2][page needed]

Because of their location, the engine shed was initially known as Par. On 1 January 1879 a loop line was built to the Cornwall Railway station at Par after which the Cornwall Minerals Railway engine shed and adjacent station were known as St Blazey to avoid the confusion of two stations with the same name.[3][page needed]

The Cornwall Minerals Railway was operated by the Great Western Railway from October 1877. A new, elevated coaling road and 45,000 gallon water tank was provided before 1908.

The Great Western Railway was nationalised into British Railways from 1 January 1948. The first diesel locomotive was allocated to St Blazey in November 1960. The last steam locomotive workings from the shed were on 28 April 1962.[citation needed]

The roundhouse has since been converted into industrial units but since April 1987 the adjacent wagon repair shed has been used to service diesel locomotives, local passenger trains, and wagons used for china clay traffic. British Rail was privatised in the 1990s, the goods traffic and workshops at St Blazey becoming the responsibility of freight operator English Welsh & Scottish Railway (now DB Schenker Rail (UK)).

The turntable has been retained to turn the preserved steam locomotives that still visit Cornwall on special main line workings but is listed in Historic England's 'Heritage at Risk Register' as it is deteriorating through lack of maintenance.[4] Goods traffic is still sometimes loaded at St Blazey in the sidings adjacent to the depot.


St Blazey does not have a permanent allocation of locomotives but many are out-based here for use on local freight services.[citation needed]

Types that have been in regular use from the depot since the 1980s have been:

The yard was used to store several DMUs overnight for Wessex Trains for many years, and then First Great Western when this company took over the operation of local trains. This meant that several morning services started at Par railway station and evening ones terminated there.


  1. ^ a b "The all-time guide to UK Shed and Depot Codes" (PDF). 5 May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Vaughan 1991
  3. ^ Bennett 1988
  4. ^ "Engine Sheds, Stack and Turntable, St Blazey Road, St. Blaise - Cornwall (UA)". Heritage At Risk Register. Historic England. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  5. ^ Marsden 1987, p. 30
  6. ^ Webster, Greengrass & Greaves 1987, p. 68


  • Bennett, Alan (1988). The Great Western Railway in Mid Cornwall. Southampton: Kingfisher Railway Publications. ISBN 0-946184-53-4. 
  • Marsden, Colin J. (1987). BR Depots. Motive power recognition. 6. Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 9780711017191. OCLC 18685680. 
  • Vaughan, John (1991). The Newquay Branch and its Branches. Sparkford: Haynes/Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-470-5. 
  • Webster, Neil; Greengrass, Robert; Greaves, Simon (1987). British Rail Depot Directory. Metro Enterprises Ltd. ISBN 9780947773076. OCLC 20420397.