NEW Subway Trains Used In Service For First Time

11 December, 2023 | Public Transport

GLASGOW’S new underground trains have carried passengers for the first time.

Following final testing by train manufacturer Stadler, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) decided to enter the two of the new trains into the system for their maiden passenger trips today.

SPT Project director Mark Toner said: “Our old fleet has performed beyond its expected lifespan and it has become more and more challenging to maintain them and find parts for them as the years have gone on.

“This new fleet will take time to grow towards its full capability and reliability levels but now that the first two trains have been introduced, passengers will have the opportunity to see them intermittently and experience for themselves as they run alongside our existing fleet over the coming months. More new trains will be also introduced during 2024.”

The trains have had to be custom made because of the unique size of Glasgow Subway.

They are the same length and size as the existing ones but are now a four-car set, as opposed to the current three-car set, with open gangways to maximise the space available.

Ongoing modernisation includes replacing the Subway’s signalling and communications system plus introduction of a new operational control centre which will be key to improving availability and reliability.

Platform screen doors (PSDs) will also be added. These will be half height to preserve as much space and openness within stations as possible while still maintaining passenger safety and security.

Once these key milestones have been reached, SPT will look to introduce Unattended Train Operation (UTO) or ‘driverless’ trains to the system.

Mr Toner added: “There are still a couple of challenging key milestones to be reached before we can say Subway modernisation is complete.

“I understand for passengers the new trains are the most important part of the programme as it is something tangible they can see.

“However, this a brand new, complex state-of-art system going into a very old network and that does frustratingly for us all, take time to deliver.

“We are still some way off seeing platform screen doors added to all stations which will be the next big thing for passengers before we have the option of moving to driverless trains.”

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