Chief Mechanical Engineer's building, flanked by the Drawing Office and Stores.
This building stood facing the Loughton Line and formed the frontispiece to the Works. The Works originated in the early 1840s with the Northern & Eastern Railway. However, those most commonly associated with Stratford Works were built in 1847 by the railway "king" George Hudson, when the Eastern Counties Railway was in its infancy. In those early days, the covered some 15 acres and was adequate for the railway's needs. As the company expanded more and more land was required. By the 1920s the Works covered about 24½ acres for locomotive building and repair; about 40 acres for carriage and road van building; some 44 acres for engines in running, plus coaling etc. At Temple Mills (between Stratford and Lea Bridge in Leyton) there were about 24 acres for wagon building and repair. Together the whole site covered an area of 132½ acres.
Stratford Works built 1682 locomotives; 5,500 passenger vehicles and 33,000 goods wagons
Many changes have taken place since: the transition from steam to dieselisation and electrification; the introduction of containerised rail traffic led to the construction of Stratford International Freight Terminal and successive "rationalisations" of railway maintenance and repair. The Wagon works and Temple Mills closed at the end of 1983. The last part of the Works closed at the end of March, 1991.
There is, however, still a significant railway presence: Stratford is a regional station with many connections to other networks; Stratford International station is an intermediate station Channel Tunnel line into St Pancras; and maintenance of the train fleet takes place and a newly constructed depot there.
The biggest change in land use has been the construction of the 2012 Olympic village and stadium and the building of Westfield's Stratford City shopping and residential complex.
(Newham Heritage & Archives. Some text abridged from Great Eastern Railway, Memoranda connected with Locomotive and Carriage Works at Stratford and the Wagon Works at Temple Mills, June 1921 as reproduced by Passmore Edwards Museum and Great Eastern Railway Society, 1991).