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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Industry and Technology

Vehicles and Locomotives

By John R Hume

Broomloan Road workshops In 1950 there were only two companies significantly engaged in the manufacturing side of the vehicle and locomotive sectors in Glasgow. There were, however, two large railway workshops and one tramway repair workshop and many motor-repair garages. This account deals with the manufacturing companies and the repair workshops. It should be remembered that the motor repair industry is still important, though the types of work it undertakes have changed significantly.

Harland & Wolff The large vehicle-manufacturing firm was Albion Motors, makers of lorry and bus chassis, with works in Scotstoun. The company was absorbed by Leyland and then became part of the Leyland/DAF group which abandoned the manufacture of complete chassis and moved production to the former Harland & Wolff Scotstoun Works, where rear axle subassemblies are still made.

Springburn College The locomotive builders were the North British Locomotive Co with, in the 1950s, three works, the Hyde Park and Atlas works in Springburn, and the Queens Park works in Polmadie which was converted to make diesel locomotives in the mid-1950s. The Atlas Works closed and the Hyde Park works made steam locomotives until orders dried up in the late 1950s. The company's decision to make diesel locomotives with hydraulic rather than electric transmission proved fatal and it went into liquidation in 1964. The headquarters building became part of Glasgow North College. Of the railway repair works, both located in Springburn, Cowlairs closed in the early 1960s as steam locomotives were phased out. Operations at the St Rollox Works have been drastically slimmed down, but electric multiple-unit trains are still repaired there.

Coplawhill tram depot The Coplawhill tramway workshops in Albert Drive, Pollokshields, built trams until the mid-1950s, but closed in 1962 when the last tram services were withdrawn.

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