East Coast train marks Edinburgh depot centenary

AN East Coast locomotive has been decorated with new insignia to mark the centenary of the train line’s main depot.

Craigentinny Rail Depot workers celebrate 100 years of service in Edinburgh. Picture: Colin Hattersley

Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh still operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is home to the East Coast line’s fleet of 14 high-speed diesel trains.

A flagship locomotive has been decorated with the words “Craigentinny 100” and two cast-iron crests, each bearing a Scottish thistle and the message “100 Years, 1914-2014” to mark 100 years of work at the site.

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It was unveiled at the depot today by Andy Cope, a former shift manager at Craigentinny, who is now a non-executive director at East Coast’s parent company Directly Operated Railways.

He said: “Over the years Craigentinny has played host to some of the railway’s most famous locomotives, including Flying Scotsman and Mallard in the steam era and the powerful Deltic steam locos into the 1960s.

“Craigentinny was extensively modernised in 1978 for the introduction of the high speed trains, or HSTs, to East Coast services.

“Today it’s the primary maintenance depot for East Coast’s fleet of 14 HSTs, carrying out the full range of maintenance tasks, from light attention to heavy overhauls.

“Craigentinny continues to perform a vital role in keeping the wheels turning on the East Coast Main Line and beyond.”

Justice Secretary and local MSP Kenny MacAskill was also at the unveiling.

He said: “Craigentinny depot has been an important part of the local community in the east of Edinburgh for a century and is a key part of our national rail heritage.

“It has a fantastic history and will hold many fond memories for a lot of people who over the years have witnessed the coming and going of trains in and out of the depot.

“The East Coast railway line is vital to the economic health of a number of areas of the country as it is a key artery.

“This is a proud day for the local community and the 250 skilled employees who work tirelessly each day to keep trains moving.”