What we’re doing
Why is the Subway being modernised?
The Glasgow Subway, which carries around 13 million passengers each year, is currently undergoing its biggest modernisation programme in over 30 years.
The full scale upgrade will ensure that the highest quality of service is delivered to the 40 thousand who use the Subway every day.
The 117 year old system had been showing its age and innovative solutions were required to ensure the Subway remains at the heart of Scotland’s largest city for many more years to come.
A £288 million funding package for the work is being supported by the Scottish Government and rebuilding work is happening right across the network. In addition to improvements already delivered there are far more underway and planned.
Rolling Stock, Signalling and Control Systems
New trains and state of the art technology
Vital elements of the Subway – the train fleet, signalling equipment and control systems – are being replaced and upgraded. With a significant budget committed, big changes are underway.
New driverless trains will replace the aging fleet, which has been in use since the 1970s. Subway trains and tunnels are smaller than other underground railway systems throughout the world. Bespoke trains will be designed and made to operate within the unique size of the Subway.
Screen gates will be installed at platform level to maximise passenger safety and the Subway’s signalling equipment, control systems and control centre will be completely revamped.
The Subway’s control centre operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Introducing the latest technology available will ensure that this crucial operational component of the Subway runs as effectively and efficiently as it can.
Stations and Accessibility
Improving safety, accessibility and customer service
We want our stations to offer a modern, welcoming environment for passengers. Key improvements to accessibility, safety features and information provision are being introduced. Station interiors are also undergoing dramatic change and will feature a wide range of access improvements such as tactile paving and maps, hearing loops and colour contrast flooring. Lifts are being installed at two stations – the first of their kind in the network and UK market leader Otis has begun replacing all 28 escalators throughout the system. That complex work is a challenging aspect of our station improvement plan and is successfully underway.
Public art will also feature in stations and two big name artists currently have work on display at Hillhead and Kelvinhall. We’re also working with Glasgow School of Art to commission exciting animated content for a digital art wall at Ibrox.
Improving tunnels, tracks and water management
The River Clyde has played an important role in transport history. Given its proximity to Subway stations – and that tunnels vary in depth between 7 and 115 feet below the Clyde’s high water level – potential water ingress is continually monitored. Tunnel lining repairs, water sealing and drainage improvements with upgraded pumping equipment is ongoing.
Innovative draining systems are being developed within the unique specifications of our Subway, too. When installed, this technology will automatically control and collect any unwanted water across the network.
A Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) team is also working with us to transform ingress water in the Subway into a sustainable heat source .
Reusable electronic tickets
Reusable plastic Subway Smartcards were introduced in autumn 2013 replacing paper magnetic strip tickets. Passengers can add credit and travel products to their Smartcards at self-serve machines and station ticket offices across all 15 Subway stations; and very soon, online.
This technology provides more flexible travel by offering customers the benefits of a contactless, paperless, system. A key aspect of the introduction of Smartcards is the need for the new technology to be ITSO-compliant (ITSO is the national specification, or industry standard, for smart ticketing). It will enable the Subway Smartcard to be used seamlessly between different transport modes (such as bus, train and ferry) and in future to buy other everyday items such as coffee and cake.
We aim to do as much work as possible at night when the Subway is closed. But we may need longer for large projects when we must move in lots of heavy equipment. On Sunday – when there are fewer customers travelling and when the Subway shuts earlier – is often still the best time for us to work. It gives us a lot more uninterrupted hours for contractors to progress modernisation work.
New ways of working, including the latest engineering techniques, help as we try to keep disruption to a minimum. We will always ensure that customers are informed of any work which could impact on their day to day Subway journey.
See details of routes affected by planned engineering works, including when they take place.
|St Enoch||Escalator upgrade||Wednesday 8 October to end November 2014||No escalator access from street level – stairs only. Staff are on hand to assist|
|St Georges Cross||Escalator upgrade||Sun 12 Oct to end December 2014||Limited escalator access – stairs and up escalator only|
July 2011Work begins at Hillhead in Glasgow’s West End. Hillhead is the flagship station for the entire Modernisation project and includes a detailed public mural by renowned Scottish Artist Alasdair Gray.
January 2012Work to replace all 28 escalators on the system begins. A £5.6 million contract was awarded to Otis to replace existing escalators in place since the 1970s.
March 2012The Scottish Government pledge £246 million capital funding towards Subway Modernisation.
June 2012A £1.2 million upgrade is confirmed for Partick Station, a vital transport hub for the region connecting with rail and bus transport links.
September 2012Flagship station Hillhead is officially opened by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
October 2012Work at Partick Subway station begins. The Subway platform level is to be transformed reflecting the modern design in place at Hillhead.
December 2012Contracts for works at Kelvinhall and Ibrox are awarded. Both stations will be modernised in time for Glasgow 2014 given their immediate proximity to two key Games venues.
April 2013Partick station modernisation complete. Improvements include the replacement of all flooring, walls and ceilings; better signage and energy-efficient lighting.
May 2013Ibrox and Kelvinhall stations are next to undergo modernisation treatment with works now underway. Temporary entrances are built to keep disruption to a minimum during building work.
June 2013The installation of new ticket gates and ticket vending machines at stations begins as we prepare for the introduction of new smart 'tap in, tap out' style tickets.
October 2013The Subway Smartcard, a reusable ticket, is issued to customers. Passengers are invited to 'go smart' and register for a free, reusable card, which is set to revolutionise travel on Glasgow's Subway.
January 2014Ibrox station – the first in the south of Glasgow to be revamped – is officially opened by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Sturgeon also tries out her own Subway Smartcard for the first time.
February 2014Construction begins at first city centre station. St Enoch, the busiest station on the network, will also be the first to have a lift installed. Work in areas of the concourse and platform will be completed in advance of the Commonwealth Games.
March 201420,000 plus customers now signed up for Smartcard technology.
April 2014Kelvinhall station refurbishment complete. New ticket office; way-finding; hearing loops and tactile paving in place; and public art by Glasgow musician and artist Paul Buchanan.
May 2014Construction of new staff offices at the Subway depot in Govan begins. The offices offer modern open plan working facilities.
July 2014Phase one of St Enoch station's £5.3 million renovation is complete. The city centre station which serves almost two million residents and visitors per year, has a brand new station office combined with a travel centre now in place.
September 2014Architects appointed to lead on designs for Bridge Street, Cessnock, Kelvinbridge and Shields Road stations.
Contract to design Bridge Street, Cessnock, Kelvinbridge and Shields Road awarded to Austin Smith Lord
Business as usual behind hoardings.
It is 20 years since the official opening of the Channel Tunnel. At over 31 miles long, it is hailed as one of the greatest feats of civil engineering ever. But how does the ‘chunnel’ compare to Glasgow’s own tunnels?
Help us understand you better so we can improve services
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has unveiled the third revamped station in its £288 million Subway modernisation programme.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has awarded a £5.3 million contract for the modernisation of one of the busiest stations in Glasgow to GRAHAM Construction.
New Smartcard is a hit with passengers
Subway fares are changing as of Monday 6 January 2014. The new fares will see Smartcard holders benefit from the best prices available.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is committed to making your journeys more convenient. To do this we want to give our customers as many options as possible for travelling to our stations.
Subway customers who use Smartcards will continue to benefit from the best prices.