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The next stop is…Riverside!

Written by SPT 14/06/2024

With the introduction underway of 17 new trains to the Glasgow Subway, the 43-plus year-old legacy fleet is slowly moving out of passenger schedule after many long years of loyal and faithful service.

One of the Subway carriages has for some time been earmarked for a new home at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, which houses the city’s outstanding transport and technology collections.

The museum was the first, back in 2016, to answer the call for new homes for Glasgow Subway’s iconic orange carriages, and SPT has been delighted to work closely with the Riverside team to arrange for Car 128 to be moved to the museum to be preserved properly and put on display.

Car 128 has carried millions of passengers since the opening of the modernised Glasgow Subway system in April 1980.  In its retirement, the driver’s end carriage weighing around 12 tonnes, will have a pride of place at the Riverside Museum. From Friday 14 June, visitors can see Car 128 on display in the centre of the venue, below the popular bicycle velodrome.

SPT Chair, Stephen Dornan, said: “We are in no doubt as to the importance of these carriages to the transport history of Glasgow, so it is only right and fitting that one should go to Riverside where it can go on display for visitors from the city, and much further afield, to enjoy.

“The legacy fleet has seen many long years of service and some carriages were well beyond their last legs. But as we have been working with the museum for some time to discuss the handover, safe transportation, and future preservation of Car 128, we’ve been able to ensure the best train available is being donated to the museum where, hopefully, it will be seen for many more years to come.”

John Messner, Curator, Transport and Technology, at Riverside Museum – part of Glasgow Life Museums – said: “For 44 years Car 128 has been a vital part of the city’s transport infrastructure.  The new trains became local icons from the moment they were introduced in 1980. 

 “The ‘Clockwork Orange’ trains – as they quickly were nicknamed – hold fond memories for many Glaswegians as well as visitors to the city, and Glasgow Life Museums are proud to have been able to preserve one of these beloved carriages with the help of the team at SPT, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.”

Car 128 will be the fourth Glasgow Subway carriage in Glasgow Life Museums collections, joining three others from the original fleet, which was in service from 1896 to 1977.

In addition to the Subway carriages, Glasgow Life Museums collections also include material from the old Merkland Street station, as well as tickets, staff uniform and archives related to Glasgow Subway.