Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Nine Elms Works

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Nine Elms is a district of London, situated in the far north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Wandsworth between Battersea and Vauxhall.

Nine Elms was formerly the London terminus of the London and South Western Railway opened on 21st May 1838 as the terminus of the London and Southampton Railway. The neo-classical building was designed by Sir William Tite. The station was connected to points between Vauxhall and London Bridge by Thames steam boats.

In 1848 Waterloo station opened and became the London terminus. The redundant station, lying to the north of the new mainline, became part of the Nine Elms Works. The buildings survived damage by German bombers and was finally demolished and replaced by the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market in 1974.

The area adjacent to Nine Elms station became the London and South Western Railway's main locomotive works until their relocation to Eastleigh in 1909. The company's largest locomotive depot was located on the south side of the main line - Nine Elms Depot.

John E. Sweet, a writer from the American magazine 'Machinery' made some interesting observations about the works in 1895. He was impressed by 'Locomotive boiler made tight without calking, in fact a boiler shop where both drift pin and calking tool were prohibited was anew thing to me, as was the whole boiler construction. Shell joints that gave 80 or 90 per cent. the strength of the sheet in place of 55 to 60, ....'[1]

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] Machinery, Feb 1896Machinery