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Subway receives Red Wheel recognition

Written by SPT 24/03/2022

Marking the 125th anniversary of key Glasgow transport system.

The National Transport Trust (NTT) has recognised Glasgow’s Subway system with a commemorative Red Wheel, marking it as a “significant site of historical importance to transport heritage in the UK”.

The is only the second Red Wheel for Glasgow, the first being at Glasgow Queen Street Station to mark the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway - Scotland's first inter-city passenger line. 

NTT deputy chairman Jerry Swift said:

“NTT is delighted that the Subway is the subject of Glasgow’s second Red Wheel.  The Subway serves as a symbol of international significance being the third-oldest underground metro in the world. 

“Its place and significance in the public transport system in Glasgow cannot be over-estimated.  It has played, and continues to play, a key role in the transport system in the city for more than a century.”

The Subway first opened on 14 December 1896 and is the third oldest in the world after London and Budapest.  This year the Subway celebrates its 125th anniversary. 

SPT Chair Councillor Dr Martin Bartos said:

“SPT is honoured to be the recipient of this Red Wheel which recognises the proud history of the Subway in Glasgow.  I’d like to thank the National Transport Trust for this recognition on behalf of all those who rely on the Subway when travelling around our city.”

The system is currently undergoing its third major modernisation in its lifetime.  The first in 1935 saw the Glasgow Subway fully electrified for the first time, the second in the late 1970s saw the system fully shut down for three years while all the stations were refurbished or built as new, and tunnels underwent major repair. New trains with automatic train operation (ATO) were also introduced.

The current modernisation programme is ongoing while SPT maintains services every day for the people of Glasgow.  This modernisation programme has seen the refurbishment of all 15 Subway stations making them more modern and welcoming for passengers. We’ve also completed essential tunnel linings work to strengthen and modernise our original Victorian tunnels.  The first of 17 new trains is about to begin in-system testing.  Once successfully complete, the new trains will begin to enter passenger service. 

The final stage of the new modernisation programme will be introducing a new signalling and communications systems as part of the new trains’ unattended train operation (UTO).  This will see platform screen doors installed in all stations.