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Celebrating 125 Years of Subway

Celebrating 125 years of Subway

The Subway is the world's third oldest underground railway, after London and Budapest, opening 125 years ago on 14 December 1896. Glasgow saw a spectacular population growth throughout the 19th century as people came to the city for work, making it a priority to move people about the city as demand grew for a public transport system that was quick, good value and accessible to all.

The Subway was originally built for the Glasgow District Subway Company and operated as a cable-hauled system. It was the first of its type in the world with propulsion provided by stationary steam engines.

Now part of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), the Subway is currently undergoing a major £288 million modernisation programme. This will see new trains and a new signalling system in place, completely transforming the whole system.

Are you in the loop?

17 new, driverless trains with an open front view. Connected carriages to walk the entire length, end to end. Arriving one by one… ready for service next year.

The History of Glasgow Subway

Timeline 01 (1)

1891 01


Glasgow District Subway company begin construction at St Enoch Square by digging tunnels at 31 feet below sea level, which took seven months to complete.

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Glasgow District Subway opens to the public when 1400 people used the Subway within its first opening hour.

1935 03


Electrification rolled out across the Subway network.

1977 03


Subway undergoes its first modernisation. Taking three years to complete including structural improvements, new trains and major refurbishments.

1980 03


Subway reopens after modernisation is completed.

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100 years of Glasgow Subway.

2011 03


Scottish Government funding is secured to bring Subway into the 21st century. Works start at Hillhead station.

2013 03


Smart ticketing launches.

2015 03


St. Enoch is completed and launched as the city’s flagship station.

2016 03


SPT unveils new train designs. The contract to supply the new trains and signalling equipment is awarded to Stadler Bussnang AG / Ansaldo STS Consortium. Seventeen new trains will work their way into service with a radical new look including more open space and a new wide-screen window at the front of the train.

2021 HH 03


125 years of Glasgow Subway.

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Trains tested ahead of entering service

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My Family is So Scottish

As part of our 125th anniversary we're proud to be featuring in this beautiful picture book showing an inclusive representation of Scottish people, places and culture.

Received our 125 door drop?