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Cowlairs Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Works, in Springburn, an area in the north-east of Glasgow, was built in 1842 for the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway later taken over by the North British Railway.
It was named after the nearby mansion of Cowlairs, with both locomotive and carriage and wagon works. The first few locomotives were bought in, but in 1844, William Paton produced the 0-6-0 'Hercules'. After amalgamation with the LNER, new production finished, except for boilers and castings, such as brake blocks.
During World War II, like other workshops, both Cowlairs and St. Rollox Works joined in the war effort, among other things, producing Horsa Gliders for the D Day airborne assault. Cowlairs also produced 200,000 bearing shells for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.