- 18 January 2021
I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, regarding the future of the site of "The Caley". You can read a copy of my letter below:-
Mr Michael Matheson MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity
St. Andrews House
18 January 2021
Caledonian Rail Works, Glasgow Springburn
As you know the Caledonian Rail Works closed in July 2019 despite efforts to persuade Gemini Rail to continue operations at the site and to try and retain up to 200 skilled jobs. I acknowledge there was a number of stumbling blocks in maintaining operations and retaining skilled employment at the site. This included (not least of all) an unwilling owner in Gemini, the central role of rolling stock operating companies (ROSCOS) in determining where much of the work that the Caley would potentially bid for could be carried out and a significant decrease in demand and consolidation within the sector.
That said, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise remained committed to identifying potential uses for the site which would allow this historic site at St Rollox to be re-purposed and re-opened in the future. I would seek an update on that work.
In doing so I would draw to your attention the Scottish Government’s own commitment contained within the Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan, Pathway to 2035 within which you comment:-
“Through investment in electrification and complementary traction systems we will decarbonise the traction element of domestic daytime passenger rail journeys in Scotland. It also demonstrates our approach to investment in green technologies and our commitment to creating a greener, more environmentally just economy with growth in greener, more sustainable sectors”.
I would very much hope that the St Rollox site will be actively pursued as it could have a key role to play within the efforts to decarbonise the rail network by 2035. I would anticipate there will be significant investment in new rolling stock including electric, battery electric and hydrogen trains. I would therefore seek an assurance that efforts to include St Rollox within any future railway hub or cluster as we head towards meeting our 2035 commitment is being actively pursued.
I would welcome details of efforts to date to secure a sustainable future for this historic site. Following any reply I would welcome a meeting with you to explore these opportunities further.
Bob Doris MSP
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn (SNP)