A BURIED piece of York’s history has been uncovered, writes Elena Cresci.
Network Rail discovered the foundations of North Eastern Railway’s roundhouses while carrying out site inspections for a new operations centre and training base set to bring 500 new jobs to the city.
It is believed the roundhouses (steam engine sheds with turntables) discovered in the Engineers’ Triangle between York Station and Holgate Bridge, date from 1864 and were abandoned in the 1960s.
An archaeologist is now working with Network Rail to fully uncover and record the roundhouses before moving ahead with the construction of the rail operating centre.
The largest of 14 proposed sites across the UK, York’s new centre will eventually control all rail operations on the east coast.
Phil Verster, route managing director for the London North Eastern route, said: “This site is a great example of respecting our rail heritage whilst at the same time making exciting plans for our future.”
Rail bosses hope the operating centre will not only continue York’s proud rail heritage but also encourage further interest in the area. Mr Verster said: “Plans for operating and training facilities are being developed to help us to deliver a modern, efficient railway.
“They will allow us to maintain York’s position as a proud rail city by retaining jobs there as well as bringing future employment benefits which are vital for economic growth and prosperity.”
Full plans for the operations centre have been submitted to City of York Council, with a decision expected in June.
Network Rail will open this site of York’s rail history to the public between 11am and 5pm on Friday, April 27, and from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, April 28. Visitors should go to the site entrance on Cinder Lane and wear sturdy footwear suitable for rough, dirty terrain.