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RCAHMS investigators record Subway’s history

RCAHMS survey team

A team of investigators from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) is visiting Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to create a “permanent record” of the architecture of the world’s third-oldest Subway network.

Visiting all 15 stations on the 116-year-old network, they will take pictures and carry out a detailed survey of the Subway as work continues on SPT’s ambitious £288million modernisation programme.

George Redmond, Chair of SPT, said:

“The Subway system has faithfully served Glasgow, its citizens and visitors for more than 100 years, and this project is an important chance to capture a snapshot of a key period in the Subway’s history.

The Subway system has faithfully served Glasgow, its citizens and visitors for more than 100 years, and this project is an important chance to capture a snapshot of a key period in the Subway’s history.”

George Redmond, Chair of SPT

“It’s fitting that the Subway is recorded for posterity in its current form, giving everyone a greater appreciation of the revitalised, network that we are delivering for future generations.”

The flagship station of the modernisation work is Hillhead, where a stunning mural by renowned Scottish artist Alasdair Gray was unveiled in September. Work has now moved on to Partick and SPT’s Subway refurbishment programme is scheduled to be largely complete by 2020.

SPT Vice Chair David Fagan, who is closely involved in ongoing plans to introduce artwork to the whole of the Subway network, said:

“It’s vital that instantly recognisable architecture like the Subway’s is recorded, especially as the modernisation programme picks up speed.

“A key part of modernisation will be bringing art into the Subway, to enhance stations for everyone who uses them. Customer reaction to the Hillhead mural has been resoundingly positive, and we look forward to bringing more innovate and challenging works of art to other stations.

“It’s fantastic to think we are creating our own national collection which will be available for people to enjoy for many years ahead.”

Iain Anderson, architectural investigator at RCAHMS added:

“This is one of the oldest subways in the world, and its current appearance has been a distinctive part of people’s experience of Glasgow for over 30 years now.

“It is rare that so many of the original stations have survived with relatively little alteration up until now. We’ll be making a lasting record of these Glasgow landmarks before the Subway network is modernised.”

“The photographs and descriptions of the stations will be made available to view online and will become part of the RCAHMS national collection – creating a permanent record of an iconic feature of Glasgow architecture.”