First new trains in 43 years enter service on Glasgow Subway

Passengers travelling on Monday morning were the first to experience Glasgow’s new Subway trains.

New subway trains have hit the Glasgow tracks for the first time in 43 years, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has confirmed.

Passengers travelling on Monday morning were the first to experience Glasgow’s new Subway trains.

Their launch comes after final testing was carried out by train manufacturer Stadler, with SPT deciding to enter the first of the new trains into the system for their maiden passenger trip.

It follows a long testing period, both offsite at the dedicated testing area near the Broomloan Depot and on the Subway network at night once the system had closed to passenger service. 

SPT project director Mark Toner said the company was “delighted” that the trains performed well and passengers were happy to see them.

“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,” he said.

“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,” Mr Toner added.

All the new trains were custom made due to the unique size of Glasgow’s Subway, however one major difference is that they are now a four-car set, as opposed to the current three-car set.

The new trains are the next stage in the Subway modernisation programme as SPT continues to work behind the scenes to replace the signalling and communications system.

The company will also introduce a new operational control centre which they say will be “key” to improving the availability and reliability of passenger service.

The modernisation programme eventually hopes to introduce Unattended Train Operation (UTO) – also known as “driverless trains”.

Mr Toner said that the company is a “couple of challenging milestones” away from the project being complete.

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

“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,” Mr Toner added.

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