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Eastfield TMD

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Hi everyone,

Can someone please tell me why Eastfield TMD was closed in 1992? I know there was a downturn in loco traffic at the time but I also seem to remember some of Eastfield's allocation went to Motherwell. Why did Motherwell survive but Eastfield not?

Thanks
 
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Darandio

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This is from the Commons debate at the time. It seems there are varying factors in the decision but the main ones were a vast reduction in the Scottish diesel locomotive fleet along with the introduction of electric locomotives and more multiple units. Then as you rightly point out there was a downturn in traffic. Ultimately closure was the most cost-effective solution, I've quoted the most relevant part from the debate.


The Eastfield depot is situated two miles north of Glasgow Queen Street station, on the main line from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It has been the main heavy locomotive maintenance depot for Scotland for many years. Its role has been diminishing in recent years, largely because of changes in British Rail's fleet composition. In 1986 the diesel locomotive fleet in Scotland stood at 235. Now it stands at 98, with further reductions forecast as new electric trains and smaller and more powerful diesel locomotives are introduced.

One advantage of the modernisation of the passenger fleet over the past few years has been the reduction in maintenance costs. Less work is now needed to maintain the fleet. Modern sprinter trains, including class 158s, have been introduced, replacing locomotive-hauled services and older multiple units. On the freight side, the introduction of new heavy-haul diesel class 60 locomotives has both reduced the number of locomotives requiring maintenance and the amount of maintenance needed by those that remain.

Another contributory factor has been a decline in freight flows, mainly relating to the past rundown of steel-making facilities in Scotland. The closure of Eastfield depot therefore also reflects a reduction in the requirements for locomotive maintenance for the railway's freight business in Scotland.

I understand that BR has had Eastfield's position under review for some time and that last year it looked at a number of options for the future of the depot. As part of that review, all BR businesses were consulted but no prospect of alternative extra work for Eastfield emerged. After careful consideration of long-term requirements, BR came to the conclusion that closure was the most cost-effective solution.
 
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This is from the Commons debate at the time. It seems there are varying factors in the decision but the main ones were a vast reduction in the Scottish diesel locomotive fleet along with the introduction of electric locomotives and more multiple units. Then as you rightly point out there was a downturn in traffic. Ultimately closure was the most cost-effective solution, I've quoted the most relevant part from the debate.


Thanks for your reply Darandio, that's very interesting. It still leaves the question of why Motherwell was chosen to stay open in lieu of Eastfield unfortunately. Maybe it was to do with Motherwell being a smaller depot and was concidered an easier option to keep open than Eastfield?
 

Dr Hoo

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As 1992 was at the height of BR's sectorisation era it would have been more a case of Regional Railways/ScotRail no longer needing a locomotive depot once the Class 156s and 158s had taken over almost all internal passenger services. Motherwell was a Freight depot and close to remaining freight activity at Mossend and Grangemouth. (Conscious that steel-related traffic had also greatly reduced with the closure of Ravenscraig.)
 

Cheshire Scot

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As 1992 was at the height of BR's sectorisation era it would have been more a case of Regional Railways/ScotRail no longer needing a locomotive depot once the Class 156s and 158s had taken over almost all internal passenger services. Motherwell was a Freight depot and close to remaining freight activity at Mossend and Grangemouth. (Conscious that steel-related traffic had also greatly reduced with the closure of Ravenscraig.)
Yes, despite the reduction in steel traffic, Mossend was particularly busy with Freight (and Coatbridge for F'liner - later separated) and Motherwell depot was almost thedoorstep. There were offices at the depot occupied by the Freight Sector management team for Scotland.
 
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Thanks for the information. From what I can see from above it looks like Motherwell was chosen to stay open because it was already a freight depot and arguably because it was smaller than Eastfield.
 

Scotrail84

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It was a mistake closing EF. Should have been kept as a satellite depot for units. They ended up rebuilding it for that very purpose 25 years later. Now sadder is becoming an HST depot as well.
 

dubscottie

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The class 60s, end of Speedlink, Edinburgh to Carstairs electrification and sprinters closed Eastfield.
And the accountants!
CME/ScotRail & Intercity based locos at Inverness and the TLF sectors based at Motherwell.
 
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