The final southern Bay of the immense Victorian Locomotive Workshop building housed the Locomotive Stores section, supplied and maintained by the Stores Branch of the NSW Railways, responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted supply of all materials, components and consumables required to keep the NSW railways running.
The Bay 15 Loco Stores were packed tight with thousands of items used in the manufacture and repair of locomotives: all kinds of hand tools, assorted rivets and bolts, various gauges and springs, all diameters of pipes and pipe fittings, large sheets of metal, and mighty bars of steel and brass.
The Loco Stores were a strictly organised, inventoried and managed operation; not just any worker could walk in and help themselves to supplies. Access to the Stores’ required a special signed order or written authority that would allow a person access to the necessary supplies.
A mezzanine level to increase the store’s capacity was added to the Bay 15 Loco Stores in 1944, to help manage the increased activity of NSW Railways as part of the war effort, including storage and management of critical items and materials that suffered from shortages during wartime.
“There was everything a giant enterprise needed stored here: from soap, wash and sponge cloths, to gland packaging material, bronze bearings, packets of drills, Wiltshire files, hand hammers, grease blocks, lubricating oils, bearing metals, pens and paper, so the list went on.” Richard Butcher, former Eveleigh Worker
As the Eveleigh Railway Workshops were both a consumer and producer of railways supplies, the Eveleigh Stores departments were responsible for the huge and complex task of inventorying and managing both incoming supplies for use in the workshops, as well as outgoing supplies produced in the workshop to be used elsewhere in the railways. The Bay 15 Loco Stores were a subsidiary branch of the main NSW Railway Stores department situated on the northern side of the railway line within the Carriage Workshops.
ARHS 2019, “Loco Stores”, research notes prepared for Curio Projects.
Butcher, R.K. & Murphy, L (ed). (2004). The great Eveleigh railway workshops: a personal reminiscence. Richard Butcher Eastwood, NSW