Glasgow Works

  (Redirected from St. Rollox railway works)

St Rollox Works and Depot, 1948

Glasgow Works, formerly the St Rollox Works, is a railway rolling stock works established in the 1850s in the Glasgow suburb of Springburn by the Caledonian Railway.

Ownership of the works passed to the LMS and then to British Rail with activities reduced in the 1980s under British Rail Engineering Limited management. It was sold as part of the privatisation of British Rail and after a number of ownership changes it is today owned by Mutares.


The Opening of the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway by David Octavius Hill

St Rollox Locomotive Works and St Rollox Carriage & Wagon Works were built in 1856 in Springburn, an area in the north-east of Glasgow, Scotland, for the Caledonian Railway, which had moved away from its works at Greenock.[1] The new works was built on the site of the station of the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway (which the Caledonian had absorbed) near to the chemical works of Charles Tennant. It was named after the nearby parish church of St Roche.

War workEdit

During World War II, St Rollox joined in the war effort, producing, among other things, Airspeed Horsa gliders for the Normandy landing airborne assault. Cowlairs also produced 200,000 bearing shells for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

Monument to those that built locomotives at St Rollox, by Jack Sloan in 1995.

1948 - presentEdit

ex-Caledonian 2P 0-4-4T No. 55178 with other engines at Balornock (St Rollox) Locomotive Depot in 1948

After the abolition of LMS with the formation of British Railways in 1948, the works remained the primary Scottish repair centre until 1986 when, under British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL), locomotive work in general was being run down. In 1972 it was renamed from St Rollox Works to Glasgow Works in 1972.[2] Part of the site was occupied for a time by MC Metals.

After BREL was privatised in 1988 the site was operated as a rail maintenance facility by British Rail Maintenance Limited (BRML) along with Eastleigh, Doncaster and Wolverton.[3] This facility was still a Nationalised Industry. During this period the site was reduced in size and the surplus land was sold off and is now the site of a large Tesco, Costco and Lidl. The new Springburn fire station and a Royal Mail sorting office are also located nearby. In 1995 BRML was privatised and the site was sold to a Babcock International/Siemens consortium along with the Wolverton site. In 2002 it was sold to Alstom. In 2007 Alstom sold the site to RailCare.[4]

RailCare was placed in administration in July 2013.[5] In August 2013 the works were purchased by Knorr-Bremse,[6] who In 2018 sold it to Mutares.[7] In December 2018, the new owner announced it planned to close the works.[8]


Among the locomotives produced for the Caledonian Railway were the Cardean and Dunalastair Classes.

St Rollox was unusual in being purpose built for both locomotive and carriage and wagon works. In 1923 with the consolidation of British Railway firms created by the Railways Act 1921, it became the main works of the Northern Division of the LMS. The final batches of main line locomotives built on site were lot 11 - 30 LMS class 4F 0-6-0 freight engines numbers 4177-4206 (completed 1925), and lot 45 comprising 10 locos of the same class (completed 1928). In 1929 wagon repairs were moved to Barassie, leaving St Rollox as the carriage repair centre.

As at December 2018, the works conducts component and rolling stock overhauls.[9] Recent work has included overhauls of Class 156, Class 158 and Class 320s for Abellio ScotRail.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ Explore georeferenced maps. National Library of Scotland Retrieved 13 October 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Vaughan, John (1981). BREL Locomotive Works. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. p. 67. ISBN 0860931099.
  3. ^ "BREL divided". The Railway Magazine. No. 1034. June 1987. p. 390.
  4. ^ Rail renovation businesses sold The Engineer 30 November 2006
  5. ^ Railcare enters administration Railway Gazette International 31 July 2013
  6. ^ Knorr-Bremse buys Railcare from administrators Railway Gazette International 27 August 2013
  7. ^ Knorr-Bremse to sell UK rail services businesses Railway Gazette International 6 August 2018
  8. ^ 180 jobs under threat at Glasgow rail services firm BBC News 12 December 2018
  9. ^ Glasgow Works Scot-Rail
  10. ^ UK railway news round-up Railway Gazette International 6 July 2017
  11. ^ Refurbished ScotRail DMU rolled out Railway Gazette International 3 September 2015
  12. ^ ScotRail EMU refurbishment contract awarded Railway Gazette International 6 March 2017
  • Larkin, E.J.; Larkin, J.G. (1988), The Railway Workshops of Great Britain 1823-1986, Macmillan Press


Further readingEdit

  • Hunt, John (26 March – 8 April 1997). "A works for the next century". Rail. No. 301. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 22–26. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°52′19″N 4°13′55″W / 55.872°N 4.232°W / 55.872; -4.232