Wolverton Works online

Recording the history of the World's longest continually operating railway Works

Now on twitter @marshrail

Gemini Rail Services has been formed to operate Wolverton Works and Springburn in Glasgow from November 2018, The latter was closed in July. Knorr Bremse Rail Services Ltd accounts lodged at Companies House show that a loss in excess of £50million was reported in the five years of their oeration. We wish the new owners of the business every success and Gemini is contacting the local community, a welcome development.



Welcome to Wolverton Works online. Site updated 22 October 2019.  

ANNOUNCEMENT! Phil Marsh and Chris Hillyard were featured on a Channel 5 documentary on Sat 17 August entitled Secrets of The Royal Train.  

The Full Works is the official book published to commemorate the Works' 175th anniversary in September 2013. It is available from the author priced £6.50 including P&P from: P Marsh, 14 Milton Road, Willen Village, MK15 9AD.


War Memorial fund

Working with Dave Hilliard from Wolverton Works, Phil Marsh has donated £1000 from the anniversary book to the World War One War Memorial fund. Dave has raised several thousands of pounds working tirelessly towards the project completion.


This commemorates each of the 213 Wolverton Works men who gave their lives in this conflict. For some reason, the LNWR did not erect a War memorial to them. and we resolved to rectify this omission.


Dave Hilliard, supported by Knorr-Bremse, and Gemini Rail raised the required amount and the memorial (seen below was unveiled despite being actively blocked by St Modwen who do not respond to questions about the project.




St Modwen's active blocking of the Works War Memorial prompted Mike Boyd to take direct and public action and has displayed a full sized replica of the Memorial in the Square at Wolverton with the following inscription:


This is a reproduction of a marble memorial. It was created several years ago following research by David Hilliard, a training manager at the Works, with support from Knorr-Bremse RailServices.

The memorial was finally unveiled on 17 September, the 181st anniversary of the Works opening by the Town Hall opposite the location of the Works main entrance which wwas demolished 45 yearas ago.

It had been intended that it be sited next to the current works entrance, on the Stratford Road but negotiations with St Modwen, the site’s owner, failed to agree this placement.

The Railway Heritage Trust made a contribution to siting the memorial which unlocked other funds by local councillors. Two images from the unveiling with Andy Savage from the RHT, Dave Hilliard, Dave French & 93 year old Mrs French.







web 2a roll of honour web st modwen web war memrial 077 cardiff


1916 wolverton march web 3 WW1 army cross channel train ferry Phil Mars web 7 Wolverton Ambulance train viewing Phil Marsh web trespass web royal 2016-06-06 wolverton Works Royal Train d web artefacts web trespassers 1807hrs from www.wolvertonworksonline.co.uk  074 6  2016-07-14 Window Planning Notice outside Wolve 1 2008-04-11  east repair shop no exit track 5 2016-04-18  east repair shop with new exit track and ongoing train renovation 5 2016-04-18  east repair shop with new exit track and ongoing train renovation 2 2010-04-29  east repair shop with new exit track 3 2009-11-11 empty east repair shop interior 4 2015-03-21 used east repair shop interior charity poster charity poster demolition 1 2016-09-12 wolverton ewr willen air 105 3 2016-09-12 air wolverton willen ewr 080 5 2016-09-12 wolverton works by Phil Marsh ref 034 5 2016-09-12 wolverton works by Phil Marsh ref 034 6 2016-09-12 wolverton ewr willen air 110 web book cover 2a roll of honour


12 1838 bury locomotivex 12 1838 bury locomotivex web 2017-02-13 wolverton announcement day Phil Mar web 2017-02-13 wolverton announcement day Phil Marsh 07810 556252 006 web 2017-02-13 wolverton announcement day Phil Marsh 07810 556252 40 021 web 2017-02-13 wolverton announcement day Phil Marsh 07810 556252 40 021 web IMG_4639 web 2010-07-08 442s at Wolverton and royal shed Marshy web2017-02-18 165 arrives wolverton 018 web 2017-02-13 wolverton announcement day Phil Mar web 1 web 165 web 159 web doors web works trespass


IMG_2708 1 2017-02-24 Wolverton Works building in situ Phil Marsh 006 2018-01-20 ITN news Wolverton Phil Marsh Ref 095 1900 bloomer blue bridge 1990 eric clapton  wolverton station demolition244x 2018-02-23 wolverton wall Phil Marsh ref 195 2018-02-23 wolverton wall Phil Marsh ref 168 2018-02-28 wolverton wall c2c 357 2 002 2018-02-28 wolverton wall c2c 357 2 018 IMG_2456 1 2008-04-11  east repair shop no exit track


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The latest chapter in the Works 181 year long history:


Knorr Bremse bought the rail vehicle renovation businesses at Wolverton and Springburn on 26th August 2013 from Railcare’s

Administrators for £6.6million. The new company was named Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd  registered at Companies House on 19 August 2013 with just one share issued.  The initial set of accounts covering to the end of 2014 showed a turnover was £ 34.1million with an

operating  loss of £18.4million with a shareholder deficit £13.2million. MD Paul Goodhand wrote: “Profitability of vehicle refurbishment projects has initially been poor, but as a result of intensive work to improve tendering, purchasing procedures and project management, it is now improving”. It clearly didn't!  as the next financial year showed a turnover of £54million, an increased shareholder deficit of £13.4million. Year three ending 31 December 2016 accounts showed an operating loss of £15million explained by …significant losses on a number of contracts and provision of £1.8million against obsolete stock…. Parent company loans had reached £46.5million,


The final trading year ending 31 December 2017, KBRS reported a loss of £5.3million against a turnover of £67.9million with the parent company loan now £53.8million. The Annual report says “We anticipate and improvement in financial results in 2018.” But accounting note 1.3 in the report says the parent company is considering selling the Company and is at an advanced stage of negotiation with a prospective purchaser. It also outlined the poor financial position stating …..the company has a history of losses and net current liabilities of £35million at 31 Dec 2017. The intercompany demand loan was £53.8million at the end of 2017.


On 9th November 2018, KBRS was renamed Gemini Rail Services UK Ltd and the takeover legally completed. The KBRS Cessation certificate was lodged at Companies House on 31st October 2018 and five years of heavy losses for them ended. Gemini Rail Services was in business..

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The Gemini Rail Services liveried shunter on Chirch Street Crossing

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