St Rollox Locomotive Works recognised with listed status

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced the former St Rollox Locomotive Works in Springburn has been listed at Category B in recognition of its special architectural and historic interest.

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St Rollox Works are a significant piece of city’s industrial heritage
St Rollox Works are a significant piece of city’s industrial heritage

St Rollox Works is significant as a rare surviving example of a late 19th century locomotive works in Scotland and the only surviving example in Springburn, which was once a global centre of locomotive construction.

Built largely in 1882, St Rollox Works was the largest and longest operational locomotive manufacture and repair works in Scotland.

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It was established and constructed in the Springburn district of Glasgow by the Caledonian Railway Company as their principal locomotive construction and repair works.

Interior view of the carriage repair shop in 1987

The St Rollox Works were remodelled between 1882 and 1887, in response to Caledonian’s need for a much larger works as the rail network rapidly expanded and advances in locomotive engineering, distribution and export were made.

The Caledonian Railway Company was subsumed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company in 1923.

Locomotive engine manufacture largely ceased at St Rollox by 1928, although it remained heavily involved in railway vehicle repair and maintenance.

At the time of the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the St Rollox Works continued to employ more than 3300 workers.

The former St Rollox Works were retained in public ownership and continued to operate in service to the railway industry until 2019 when the works were closed and sold to a private owner last year.

The designation of St Rollox Works follows a consultation where members of the public were invited to share their views on the special historic and architectural significance of the building.

Dara Parsons, head of designations at HES, said: “The former St Rollox Works is a significant piece of Scotland’s industrial and transport heritage, and a worthy addition to the list of Scotland’s special buildings.

"It made an important contribution to railway history and to Springburn’s role as a major centre for rail manufacture and repair in the 19th and 20th centuries.”