Wolverton Works


In 1838 Wolverton was established as the site of the locomotive repair shop at the midpoint of the London and Birmingham Railway then under construction. In 1846 the L & B became part of the London and North Western Railway,  who decided in July 1862 that locomotives would be built and repaired at Crewe. The last locomotives at Wolverton were built in 1863 and repaired until 1877,after which it concentrated on carriages, including railway owned road vehicles. The Works has been the home of the Royal Train fleet.

The railway company built some 200 houses for its workers by 1844 along with schools and a church L&NWR also invited George McCorquodale to establish what became a substantial printing works in the town and a major supplier of printed material to the Company

The major facilities were:
Timber yard — where all wood was thoroughly seasoned for three years. Most construction was in mahogany, oak, walnut and teak, with sycamore and deal being used for partitions, roofs and floors.
Sawmills — complete with square-hole boring machine
Smith’s shop — 100 forges, 14 steam hammers, chiefly for steel carriage springs
Wheel shop — steel tyres from Crewe were built up onto teak wooden sections to make Mansell wheels .
Joiners’ shop — to produce components by skilled carpentry
Upholstery Dept. — for seats and covers
Four Paint shops — Sixteen coats of paint were needed, requiring sixteen days in the paint shops
Brake shop
Omnibus & Parcels cart repair shop
A steam traverser delivered coaches to their track for repair.

Wolverton Works was the principal carriage works of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR); from 1865 all the coaching stock and road vehicles were built there. (Before 1865 carriages had been built at Saltley, Birmingham.) The works was situated north of Bletchley on the main line out of London Euston, and by 1897 had expanded to cover nearly sixty acres, so that the main line, originally on a straight alignment directly through the works, had to be re-routed to bypass it to the east.