Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,019 pages of information and 213,092 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

St. Rollox Works

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St. Rollox Locomotive Works and St Rollox Carriage and Wagon Works were built in 1856 in Springburn, an area in the north-east of Glasgow, for the Caledonian Railway, moving away from their works at Greenock. The new works was built on the site of the station of the Glasgow and Garnkirk Railway which the Caledonian had absorbed, and was named after the nearby church of St. Roche.

A number of locomotives were produced, among them, the Cardean and Dunalstair ranges. However, when the railway was amalgamated with the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) new production ceased apart from two batches of LMS class 4F freight locomotives built in 1925 and 1927/8 - a total of forty engines.

The works remained the primary Scottish repair centre until 1986 when, under BREL, locomotive work in general, was being run down. However it has continued at a reduced level, and, as at 1988 is the only main works in Scotland.

St. Rollox was unusual in being purpose built for both locomotive and carriage & wagon works. It became the main works of the Northern Division of the LMS, although new building ceased. In 1929 wagon repairs were moved to Barassie, leaving St. Rollox as the carriage repair centre.

During World War II, like other workshops, both Cowlairs and St. Rollox joined in the war effort, among other things, producing Horsa gliders for the D Day airborne assault. Cowlairs also produced 200,000 bearing shells for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

The St. Rollox site is today operated as a rail maintenance facility by Alstom

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