Tuesday 17th December 2019
A second new station on Britain’s rail network opened on Sunday (in addition to Warrington West which I visited yesterday). This one’s at Robroyston, located north east of Glasgow so I popped up this morning to see how it compares.
It’s on the Glasgow to Edinburgh line via Cumbernauld and Falkirk Grahamston – the second stop out of Glasgow, after Springburn.
It’s not the quickest of the five routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh – that’s the 15 minute frequency line via Falkirk High which is given the ‘ScotRail Express’ branding…
…but it still has the smart new Class 385 trains running it including ‘express’ branding!
Robroyston enjoys a simple half-hourly timetable* throughout the day and evenings on Mondays to Saturdays although evening trains only run as far east as Cumbernauld or Falkirk Grahamston rather than Edinburgh and on Sundays it’s just hourly as far as Cumbernauld.
* when I say a ‘simple half hourly timetable’ unfortunately it’s not exactly clock face half hourly due to pathing constraints out of Queen Street. For example the journey I caught at 11:54 from Queen Street is given 15 minutes to Robroyston but other journeys leave slightly later and do the trip in as little as 11 minutes. Others take 12 or 14 minutes, such is the constraint of Cowlairs South Junction just outside Queen Street and which bizarrely comes up as a station on the train internal displays (it’s not a station!).
It’s reported that building work on the new station got underway last autumn so it’s impressive to see it open just over a year later. And it’s reportedly another £14 million spend.
But unlike Warrington West there’s no staffed ticket office or toilets at Robroyston but there is a car park sporting around 260 spaces which are all free to use in an attempt to capture the Park & Ride market for motorists on the nearby M80 heading into Glasgow.
About 100 of the spaces are on the south side of the station towards the nearby housing while the rest are on the north side within sight of the M80 running alongside.
This is not just any Park & Ride; the planning application for the site boasted it will be a ”state of the art Park & Ride site”. I couldn’t see too much evidence of that – all new and pristine yes; but no obvious state or art in the way of car parking.
There are a few electric charging points and two enclosed smallish bike shelters but that’s not particularly revolutionary.
Like Warrington West, Robroyston will also serve a new development of 1,600 homes which will fill the adjacent barren land in the coming months and years.
Railway historians will know there was previously a station at Robroyston until it was closed back in 1956 with the station car park and adjacent land now earmarked for development partly being on the old marshalling yard.
Transport Scotland’s New Station Fund, Network Rail, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and developer funding have all helped provide the £14 million that’s brought us the two platforms…
… two shelters….
…. (with a ticket machine in each) ….
…. a departure screen…
… two dot matrix displays…
…. a few seats …
…. and a footbridge and lifts …
as well as that car park.
£14 million seems to be the going rate for new stations these days.
Oh; and no Onward Journey poster – looks like they have now been abandoned.
Britain’s rail network was due to get a third new station opening on Sunday but Worcestershire Parkway wasn’t ready in time so has been postponed again into the New Year. There’s more to new station openings than meets the eye.