The main depot of the Saltwood Miniature Railway grew over the years of operation. It first opened in 1924, the year the line relocated from Sheffield to Saltwood. A substantial engineering workshop was constructed, equipped with workbenches, lathe, anvil, piller drill, and other equipment. Attached to this workshop was a lean-to trainshed, sufficient in those early days to house the small locomotive and the single passenger carriage.
This arrangement provided limited siding space for the wagons, and no additional capacity for future expansion of passenger stock, even though construction of new coaches began immediately on arrival at Saltwood. A small wooden platform was in place at Tanners House Station (beside the main family home), but in 1928 platforms were laid at the main "Saltwood" station, alongside the tennis courts. The main platform was initially made of wood (like that at Tanners House Station), but there was also a more substantial concrete platform "the "tennis platform" nearer the tennis courts. Photographs from 1928 show that a very short-lived track was laid between the depot and the tennis platform, effectively giving this new "Saltwood Station" two working platforms. This second platform line lasted not longer than a year.
Early in 1929, with the "raven atlantic" locomotive number 471 under heavy rebuild as a North British Atlantic, more substantial storage facilities were required. So alongside the workshops a large and very solid engine shed was built. It was continuous with the lower-level lean-to trainshed, whose single line ran through both buildings, and it also had an internal door connecting it to the workshops.
The new engine shed was barely open when it was decided that a second shed road was required, so that the locomotive could be housed off the through-line. A set of points was installed, and a terminating second shed road laid.
Locomotive 471 returned to service, now styled as a North British atlantic, and named "Trojan". A few photographs exist of the engine in the depot in this brief period before the turntable was installed. However, before the end of that year (1929) the turntable pit had been dug and lined, and the impressive turntable installed. At the same time the tracks between the depot and Saltwood station were simplified, a long open-air stock siding was installed (accessed via the turntable), and the tracks into the engine shed were realigned, with a third shed road installed. Doubtless this indicated the desire, already present, for a second locomotive to enter service, although it was to be another ten years before that second locomotive joined the fleet. The large double doors of the engine shed were re-configured and re-hung as part of the exercise in late 1929. It is not known at what stage the deep locomotive inspection pit was constructed, but it was probably during this late 1929 rebuild. The inspection pit was situated under the middle shed road. Finally, it will be observed from the diagrams that the turntable was installed precisely where the main running line had previously crossed in front of the sheds. The installation of the turntable, and the expansion of the depot, meant that the mainline had to be completely relayed on a new alignment, with a wider arc, and therefore a slightly lengthened railway overall.
By the outbreak of the war, Saltwood Depot had grown to its full extent. The open-ended stock shed had been built on the other side of the turntable from the engine shed, the stock siding had been lengthened so that it finally reached a buffer stop several feet beyond the limits of the depot, and after the main depot road had rejoined the mainline. An additional stock siding had been laid, running through the stock shed, and into a low-level corrugated iron carriage shed. Uniquely, this "kiddies carriage" shed was not designed to be accessible to humans. It's low roof was designed to allow the two kiddies coaches (one constructed in 1938, the other constructed in 1933 but having originally been the Sheffield passenger coach built around 1920 or 1921) to be shunted inside for storage. A human being could access this shed only by crawling inside on hands and knees.
The central stock-storage siding was reduced in length (at an unknown date) and by the 1970s was used almost exclusively to house the open 4-wheel wagon known as the "Wire Brush Truck" (WBT). The WBT was a standard 4-wheel open wagon, but had a number of stiff wire brushes attached under its frames, such that the brushes made contact with the track both before and after the wheels. Weighed down with a load of rubble, this truck was regularly deployed around the railway so as to remove rust, grease, and grime from the railheads. Apart from the shortening of the WBT siding, the layout of Saltwood Depot remained largely unchanged from 1939 until the closure of the railway in 1987.
The final ignominious chapter in the history of Saltwood Depot came in 1987, after operations had ceased. When the executors of Alex Schwab came to unlock the depot to recover the locomotives they discovered that person or persons unknown, having heard of the death of the owner, and the impending demise of the line, had broken into the depot and stolen the nameplates from the sides of the locomotives. To this day the nameplates have never again been seen. If anyone should discover their whereabouts, we would still like to have them back!