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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Northampton Station Water Tower Continues To Survive

UK Railway History

Photo: Charles Moorhen

An Rusting Relic From The Days Of The Steam Train

Since steam-hauled passenger and freight trains passing through Northampton station came to an end in the 1960's, it seems virtually nothing tangible has survived in the area to testify to the existence of the 'Great Days of Steam'.

The locomotive shed, once covering an area where part of Northampton Castle formerly stood, was cleared to make way for an ugly, metal, two-tiered car park.
The coaling-plant was blown-up, signal box numbers '1' and '2' were demolished and the large semaphore signal gantries have long since disappeared.

However, tucked away close to the corner of a bridge truss, one relic from that romanticised era did manage to survive pretty much intact. A line-side water tower that over many decades quenched the thirst of thousands of steam locomotives.

So, how did this example manage to escape extinction?

When studying the tower's location, the reason for its survival becomes clear.
Northampton Station Water Tower     Photo: Charles Moorhen

Standing adjacent to the track running into the former Northampton sidings, and close to the main running lines into and out of Northampton station, it is logical to assume that removal of the tower would cause major disruption to both freight and passenger rail traffic on this busy stretch of track.

Without doubt it would require the temporary removal of overhead power lines. 
The entrance to the few remaining weed-strewn sidings, where Class 66 diesel locomotives can often be seen and Loram rail-grinding trains can sometimes be spotted, would be completely beyond use.

Add to this is the fact that the water tower stands only a few metres away from the busy Spencer Bridge Road bridge - a main artery into Northampton town - and the entry road leading to 'Martin's Yard', a small industrial area, its removal would no doubt cause serious traffic-flow problems in the area.

Northampton Station Water Tower   Photo: Charles Moorhen

So, for the time being at least - much to the delight of many rail travellers, railway enthusiasts and railway historians alike - it looks as though this relic from the glory days of steam will remain where it is for a little while longer.


Here is a 'Quick Find ' locator for all Steam/Diesel Locomotives - Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) - Electric Multiple Units (EMU) photos to be found across the 'Along These Tracksblog pages.

Steam Locomotives:
30075   30517   34016   60163   71000   7802

Diesel Locomotives:
08466   08909   09018   20107   20311   20314   31168   31288   31305   31462   31467
43081   43151   57307   60017   66005   66013   66086   66237   66502   66765   67006  67013   66017  67026   66717   66729   66731   66738

Diesel Multiple Units:
153329  153364   153366   153370  156411  165006   172344  172345  220006   220010   220018   220028   222002   222015

Electric Multiple Units:
310086   317327   323214   350120   350250   390128   450108   

To visit my Google Plus profile containing a large number of photos, please click here.
Click 'ABOUT' in the top picture for a list of interesting photo links.


First Great Western Class 153329 DMU at St. Austell, Cornwall

Class 153 329 DMU           Photo: Charles Moorhen First Great Western Trains DMU Class 153 329 stands alongside the east-bound pl...

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