Train shed

A train shed is a building adjacent to a station building where the tracks and platforms of a railway station are covered by a roof. It is also known as an overall roof. Its primary purpose is to store and protect from the elements train cars not in use, The first train shed was built in 1830 at Liverpool's Crown Street Station.

Inside Isambard Kingdom Brunel's wooden train shed at Bristol Temple Meads.

The biggest train sheds were often built as an arch of glass and iron, while the smaller were built as normal pitched roofs.

The train shed with the biggest single span ever built was that at the second Philadelphia Broad Street Station, built in 1891.

Types of train shed

Early wooden train sheds


The earliest train sheds were wooden structures, often with unglazed openings to allow smoke and steam to escape. The oldest part of Bristol Temple Meads is a particularly fine – and large – example, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel with mock-hammerbeam roof.

Surviving examples include:

Classic metal and glass

The middle of the nineteenth century saw many large stations covered by iron, steel and glass train sheds, inspired by The Crystal Palace at The Great Exhibition in 1851. The best have been described as "like cathedrals" and feature curved roofs; other structures have pitched roofs.

Surviving examples of curved roof train sheds include:

Surviving examples of pitched roof train sheds include:

Surviving examples of Bush-type, developed by American civil engineer Lincoln Bush, and related train sheds include:

Surviving examples of other train sheds include:


München Hauptbahnhof train shed, dating to the 1960s

The middle of the twentieth century saw concrete used as a structural material.

Surviving examples include:

Modern steel and glass

Waterloo International (across the foreground) with the older Waterloo station beyond (June 2004)

After many years with few, if any, significant new train sheds, recent years have seen some major stations given graceful train sheds by using modern technology.

Examples include:

In the United States, the Walt Disney World Monorail System has some trainsheds along its route, including the entrance-gate station and the main hall (or Grand Canyon Concourse) of the Contemporary Resort.

Open-air canopy

View through the open-air roof that encircles the platform area at Denver Union Station (May 2014)

Car barn

In North America tram cars, there called streetcars or trolleys, are sometimes stored in structures called car barns or car houses. These buildings are usually enclosed and provide cover for trams from the elements.

List of car barns:

Former Georgetown Car Barn, Washington, D.C. (between 1980 and 2006)

See also


  1. ProjectWest. "What's New?". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
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