Shedplates were used in
various forms in the early days of locos to identify their
LNWR enamel Aston (Birmingham) MPD
LNWR enamel - Coventry MPD
L&Y enamel- Bacup MPD
MR Cast iron - Normanton MPD
LMS enamel - Nuneaton MPD
LMS Cast iron Stourton MPD
A number of Pre Grouping and
Post Grouping Companies used either enamel or Cast iron
Number plates in the Cabs of their locos. These plates just
had a number (or number plus letter) on to identify the home
location. The LNER Company made enamel plates with the name
of the shed on and these were also mounted in the loco cab.
In 1935 the
LMS introduced an all line unified shed code system with the
codes running from 1A (Willesden) to 29J (Aviemore), and
later was extended by recoding to 32C (Forres). This
is the basis of the BR system and the plates were of the
same dimensions. The numbers were of the size and style as
the Midland Railway (MR) plates, and some early plates from
ex MR sheds had 4 holes to allow replacement of MR plates
before the smokebox doors were re-drilled. Later plates
sometimes used pressed brass pattern numbers and can be
recognized by the rectangular raised surround. The backs
did not have lugs, the central section was simply made
With the Nationalisation of
the Railways after the war a countrywide system was needed
in order to show each locos Home Shed and so Cast iron
plates were made and were fitted to the Smokebox doors of
all the locos still working in 1948. The numbers were on a
Regional basis with letters following the numbers to signify
which particular shed any loco was attached to.
A full list of sheds is
available for each region. Simply click on the plate numbers
below to go to a list of sheds for that region. Each code has a rarity letter
shown on the list
below with approximate Auction prices. The guideline price
is for an unrestored or front only restored plate.
very hard to obtain.
Auction Guide -
fairly often, although some may prove quite
Auction Guide - £120+
You should be
able to acquire these Shedplates fairly
readily via auction or private sale.
Shedplates were often crudely
cast and so replicas are easy to produce. As with all
Railwayana try to get provenance when buying or take advice.
The back of a plate can tell you more than the front so try
to buy plates that have not been repainted on the back.
below is the Shedplate 74E St Leonards that was sold for the
current World Record of £4050.