Glasgow & West Scotland

Rainwater collected at Glasgow depot to wash trains

Scotrail train
Image caption Harvested rainwater will be used to clean trains at Glasgow's Corkerhill depot

Millions of litres of rainwater will be used over the next year to help wash trains at a Scotrail depot in Glasgow.

The train operator installed a collection system earlier this month to harvest rainwater from more than 2,000 sq m of roof at its Corkerhill site.

It can collect about 72,000 litres in one go, saving more than 3.5 million litres of fresh water every year.

Scotrail could install the system at other depots if it is proven to cut costs and the firm's carbon footprint.

The company believes it is the first rail operator in the UK to introduce the rainwater harvesting system at a depot.

Track operator, Network Rail, has a similar system at its headquarters in Milton Keynes.

The rainwater collected from the Corkerhill depot will be used to clean the underside of trains.

'Environmental performance'

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: "The new facility removes the need for us to use more than 3.5 million litres of fresh water every year - helping improve the environmental performance of Scotland's railways.

"If the pilot project is successful, we may consider introducing rainwater harvesting at other depots in the future."

Rainwater collection systems are already used on Indian railways, where fresh water is at a premium.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "This innovative system will help to deliver further reductions in its carbon footprint and maintenance costs.

"This will be another milestone as we work towards improving Scotland's railways' environmental performance, and I look forward to seeing this system rolled out at other locations in the future."