Query Corner

Q13.23. Traversers at Passenger Stations.

Birmingham (Moor Street) was equipped with two traversers for locomotive run around purposes. Did any other BR passenger station ever have such a facility and if so where and when? (DP)


Birmingham Moor Street was the only UK example of a traverser at a passenger station in recent history. A few stations had sector tables (e.g. Bembridge) but they are a little different in being somewhere between a traverser and a turntable. A traverser has recently been put in at Felixstowe docks, though that of course is for the locomotives of container trains to be able to be released from the dead end sidings. However history shows that traversers go back to the early years of passenger railways and were used between adjacent tracks at Brunelís 1840 terminus of the broad gauge Great Western at Bristol and across the end of the full set of four tracks, and to a fifth track connected by turntables to the GWR station at the later Bristol & Exeter station. There is an 1845 map showing a total of six traversers and twenty turntables (and there were probably more inside the GWR terminus), in Ian Allanís Brunel, the GWR & Bristol. (PD:20844)

Excavation of the "engine shed" (a continuation of the GWR 1841 station to buffer stops) has revealed the presence of a traverser across the end of all the roads. (Engine Shed Society)

last updated: 14/01/14