Subway Modernisation

Hillhead Station after modernisation

13 million journeys get made by Subway every single year – that’s a lot of people getting on and off trains at our stations, every single day. After the improvements that were made in the 1970’s, it’s now time to make some changes again so that Subway lasts for many more years to come. These new improvements are called ‘Subway Modernisation’.

The last time the Subway was upgraded, the system was shut for almost three years. This time, most of the work gets done through the night as the city sleeps.

All 15 stations are having a makeover to make them lighter, brighter and safer places to be. New clearer signs, maps and passenger information notices are being put in place so that people can find their way about more easily.

Modernised Subway stations in Glasgow

Special improvements are being made so that visually impaired and disabled people can safely use the Subway, too, like special dimpled tiles on platform edges and new hand rails, for example.

Environmentally friendly bright lights are being added throughout all stations and every single escalator is being replaced – that’s 28 in total.

It’s important that the Subway tunnels are strong and water-tight. Sections of the Subway tunnels go under the River Clyde and are near the River Kelvin. As part of Subway Modernisation, the latest technology is being used to line the tunnels and make them waterproof.

Subway train and St. Enoch station

New trains, tracks, signalling and control equipment are also in the pipeline. New driverless trains will eventually be in use. These state of the art trains need to be made to order as no other Subway system in the world is the same size – the dimensions of trains and tunnels are smaller. The fully automated trains will mean that the subway can run more frequently and carry more people.

New tickets have been introduced – Subway Smartcard (similar to the London Oyster card). The new Subway Smartcard is a reusable electronic ticket. The Smartcard uses a small microchip to store credit or season travel passes.

Are you ready to test your knowledge of Subway modernisation with our quiz?

Other stories

Image of an old Subway carriage in the Riverside Museum. Credit: & WWII