Canton Depot - RIP

Canton Depot was officially opened on 18th September 1964 and its fleet comprised of 0-6-0 Diesel Hydraulic Type 1 Locomotives ( Class 14 ), Hymek Diesel Hydraulic Type 3 locomotives ( Class 35 ), English Electric Type 3 ( Class 37 ) and Brush Type 4 Diesel Electric Locomotives ( Class 47 ). Facilities at Canton  included a Heavy Maintenance Depot capable of undertaking power unit changes and a Servicing Shed for carrying out routine maintenance. A Wheel turning Lathe was more latterly installed for the re-profiling of Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon wheelsets. Canton Depot provided traction for passenger and freight traffic in the Cardiff area and passenger traffic in the Newport areas and was supported by Landore, Ebbw Junction and Seven Tunnel Junction Depots in complementing the traction in South Wales. Class 08 locomotives performed shunting duties in a multitude of locations around the Cardiff area, Class 14 locomotives provided local trip workings, Class 35 passenger and freight traffic as Class 37 and Class 47 locomotives.

Since the opening of Canton Depot, Class 03, 20, 25, 46 and 56 locomotives have come and gone leaving an operational fleet at the ned of of 36 x Class 08/09, 5 x Class 37, 21 x Class 60, 47 x Class 66 and 30 x Class 67 locomotives which were dedicated to EWS's freight and Royal Mail traffic, and two passenger diagrams from Cardiff to Rhymney together with a summer service from Rhymney to Fishguard Harbour.

Canton Depot employed nearly one hundred members of staff predominately working in the Heavy Maintenance and Servicing Depots. The Heavy Maintenance Depot was manned on a sixteen hour two shift basis and was responsible for carrying out heavy repairs to locomotives, operation of the Re-railing Equipment, Wheel Lathe, modification work including the Class 67 locomotives, and bogie and Royal Mail coach overhauls. The Servicing Depot was mannned on a twenty four hour two shift basis and was responsible for Fuel Point and Fitness For Service Examinations, and carrying out minor examinations to locomotives. 

Canton Depot was one of few Traction Maintenance Depots that has facilities to carry out F xam's, Wheel Turn, Load Bank and lift power units with its 50T Morris Hoist.

On Sunday 30th May 2004, Canton Depot finally closed its doors nearly forty years after its opening on 18th September 1964. The closure was primarily brought about by Royal Mail transferring their business from rail to road and air. The closure of Ebbw Vale steelworks, and the contraction of Allied Steel & Wire and Llanwern Steelworks was not helpful to this situation.

The majority of Canton Depots staff were transferred to Margam Depot whose facilities were strengthened by a short extension to the shunter bay which is serviced by a 2.5T pendant controlled overhead crane. The remaining staff were transferred to a newly opened fuelling facility at East Usk Yard in Newport which will allow for the stabling point at Godfrey Road to be closed.


Updated 25/09/18