Tour Instructions

To activate sound, click on the speaker in the top right-hand corner.
To activate fullscreen, click on the 3 dots.*
To look around, click on the tour and hold down the left mouse button whilst scrolling. You can also use the arrow keys.

*Please note that due to restrictions made by Apple, fullscreen is not available on iOS devices.



On hearing the announcement that GWR’s iconic Old Oak Common depot was to close in 2018 I contacted the management team to ask if I could photograph the depot to create a virtual tour for historical reference.

The depot dates back to 1906 and was the original Great Western Railway’s main depot to service the steam engines, coaches for services from London Paddington. From the 1950’s it serviced the diesel locomotives that replaced steam and then the HST’s which arrived in the mid 70’s.

Originally boasting 4 full-size locomotive turntables under one roof, the original depot is a shadow of its formal self, with only the carriage sheds and the more modern HST shed still standing. The original locomotive shed known as the Factory was knocked down in the late 2000’s in readiness for its use as the main depot for the new Crossrail trains.

Whilst demolition of the depot has started, it is not planned to close until the end of 2018.  The site is being flattened to make way for the new HS2 line and interchange station.


Year: 2017 – 2018
Categories: 360 Photography, Virtual Tours,

360 Photography
Virtual Tours
Sound Recording

Interactive virtual tour

The tour includes information on various aspects of the depot.

Videos showing trains and movements around the depot have been embedded into the tour.

Some unique 360 images were captured.


The Old Oak Common photoshoot was taken in two separate visits in late 2017 and early 2018 with over one hundred 360 degree panoramas taken during 4 days.

Sound was also recorded at each photo location to give a real sense of atmosphere for the viewer; a good example of this is the ticking HST power cars in the carriage shed. Extra video was also shot and has been embedded into the tour to show various movements on depot and special trains that appeared on shed.

The only visible evidence of the big changes coming to Old Oak Common during the first visit was the track gang working outside the carriage sheds installing a new point to give the necessary access required to the shed as parts of the depot were closed.

A lot had changed by the second visit, with both the Heavy Maintenance Facility and Lathe shed both being taken out of action. The carriage sidings and roads 7-15 of the carriage shed had also been taken out of use. During this time GWR returned the last few class 180s back to their leasing companies and maintenance of the Night Riviera sleeper stock was moved to the Reading and Penzance depots.

After a safety briefing, I was escorted around the depot at all times by members of the depot staff. I had a rough idea of what I felt needed to be captured but constantly consulted the employees on what they felt was important to photograph. Whilst photographing the depot, all safety policies were adhered to, especially on track, and nothing was done to disrupt the day-to-day running of the depot.

I would like to thank the staff of Old Oak Common who were friendly, accommodating and passionate about the job they do and the depot they worked at.