The imposing long building beyond the turntable at Fisherton Sarum is a representation of the water tower, dormitory and stores building at Salisbury. It dominates the turntable end of the layout and although over 2 foot long is actually a good 6 inches under scale length.
The water tank at Salisbury held 110,000 gallons and fed both the shed and the station water cranes totaling 12 in all, with eight in the station and four in the shed yard. The water pressure at Salisbury was maintained unusually high to allow for double headed engines at the station to be watered at once. This meant that crews had to be somewhat cautious when using the cranes or risk getting very wet!
The dormitory was provided to be used by locomotive crews on “Double Home” turns, requiring a night away. There is some conjecture if it was actually used as such and if it was possibly only for a short period of time after opening and certainly not after WW2. Double Home turns to points further west to Exmouth Junction and beyond certainly existed to the early 1960’s.
The Railway Magazine at the time the shed was first built in 1901 said in its description of the shed and the amenities: “the dormitories had comfortable beds, washrooms, latrines and mess facilities”.
I feel that if used by crews it must have been far from idyllic being located so close to the shed area and I am not sure what kind of noise the huge tank above would make when refilling. It is noted, however, that double home turn arrangements at other locations could be at best local Bed and Breakfast lodgings or at worst coaches used as dormitories!
Even if the dormitories where not fully utilised the building was certainly used as a large stores for the large amount of parts and equipment needed to keep a shed the size of Salisbury going. There would have been regular deliveries of such items from the likes of Eastleigh works. A small covered loading dock area was provided, unusually accessed via and requiring a shunt over the turntable.
My representation of this building whilst, as mentioned above, being slightly shorter in length to suit the space available is from the turntable side as close as I can get to the original, including the tall windows and blind arches, whilst maintaining the proportions. In reality the rear of the build building faced directly on to Cherry Orchard Lane which as it was much lower than the ground level on the shed side must have been a very imposing sight.
On Fisherton Sarum I have added a freelance cottage scene on this side of the building (so that the layout was not just railway infrastructure) and also added a small office directly on to the rear of the building itself to provide a further access to the stores building and monitor access to the shed via the rear road entrance from Fisherton Sarum’s version of Cherry Orchard Lane.
3 thoughts on “A view from the line #4 The water tower a presence and pressure…”