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18 May 2022

St Rollox Locomotive Works in Glasgow recognised with listed status

A significant piece of Glasgow’s industrial heritage has been listed at Category B

A row of former railway sheds

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

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.

An archive photo showing the exterior of a locomotive works

The works as they appeared in 1987

Built largely in 1882, St Rollox Works was the largest and longest operational locomotive manufacture and repair works in Scotland. It was established and constructed in the Springburn district of Glasgow by the Caledonian Railway Company as their principal locomotive construction and repair works. 

It played a significant role in the expansion of the railway on the landscape of Scotland. The St Rollox Works were remodelled by the Caledonian's newly appointed chief engineer Dugald Drummond to designs by district engineer, Robert Dundas 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.

An archive photo of a train carriage being repaired inside a large workshop at a locomotive works

The carriage repair shop in 1987

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 in 2021. Today the building retains many features which demonstrate its previous function, including its interconnected workshop design of high-quality ironwork. 

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."

HES lists buildings of special architectural or historic interest that help to create Scotland’s distinctive character, and through which we can discover more about the stories of our past. All designation applications are researched and assessed by a dedicated team.  

More information on the decision can be found on the HES website, as well as the listed building record.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
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For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8588