Scotland’s Railway opens £33million servicing depot

Last updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Scotland’s Railway is continuing ‘Fit For The Future’ investments with the opening on Sunday (12 December) of a new engineering depot at Cadder, near Glasgow.

Located between Bishopbriggs and Lenzie on the Edinburgh & Glasgow line, Cadder was quickly identified as the ideal location to accommodate up to six High Speed Trains (HSTs) due to its accessibility to Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley stations where more than 80% of Inter7City services start or finish.

The size of the site means the yard can be expanded if extra space is needed to accommodate more rolling stock in the future.

The £33million investment was managed by Network Rail and paid for by Transport Scotland. Going forward, it will be operated by ScotRail on behalf of the rail network.

Up to one hundred railway staff have been on site each day, working to deliver the project which includes three new service platforms and a new modular building to accommodate staff from ScotRail, Network Rail and their supply chain. Sharing the site with Network Rail reduced the capital and ongoing operating cost of the new depot.

A new facility for train presentation staff has been installed along with equipment for re-fuelling, toilet servicing and a train wash which will allow night-time cleaning and servicing for the HSTs that travel from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness.

Cadder depot will bring a number of benefits:

  • A reduction in the number of unproductive early morning and late night HST train miles.
  • Shifting the burden of stabling HSTs away from Perth, Haymarket and Eastfield Depots.
  • Reducing emissions and noise for residents who live close to those other yards.

Some of the numbers involved in the construction are impressive.

Scotland’s Railway engineers and contractors ran 7.5km of cable and poured approximately 1200m3 of concrete – that’s 3,000 tonnes of concrete in old money. Three kilometres of new track were laid, including 3,300 sleepers, and a 1km long, three metres high steel security fence has been erected.

A new office facility inside the yard will accommodate Rail Systems Alliance Scotland staff, which is a partnership between Network Rail, Babcock and Arcadis. The two-story building will operate day and night and it will also provide accommodation for ScotRail HST Depot staff.

Work at Cadder depot was at all times carried out in line with government advice on physical distancing and using additional PPE wherever appropriate to keep everyone safe on the site.

Coronavirus restrictions also provided challenges to adapt and find innovative ways of using technology. One key step forward was the use of simulation and digitalisation in the signalling design phase. This meant fewer site visits by the design team which supported the safety and wellbeing of workers during COVID-19.

Kirsty Devlin, ScotRail Head of Projects & PMO, said:

“I am delighted that Cadder depot has opened.

“It means that we can accommodate more High Speed Trains in the central belt where most of them start and finish their journeys. And pressure will be taken off existing depots in Perth, Haymarket and Eastfield.

“This is another example of the massive investment we are making to transform Scotland’s Railway into a network that is fit for the future and that our customers deserve.”

Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport said:

“This impressive new depot, funded by the Scottish Government, will service the requirements of the refurbished High Speed Train fleet that has transformed long-distance travel between Scotland’s seven cities.

“It offers real benefits including supporting over 200 existing jobs while also creating the potential for up to 25 new roles.

“I have also been impressed by the collaboration displayed between Network Rail, the Rail Systems Alliance, ScotRail and the various contractors who worked together to deliver this new facility.”