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Glasgow Subway

Former Ticket Office of the Glasgow Subway. Opened 1896 and the 3rd-oldest underground metro in the world. A 6½ mile circuit; cable-hauled until electrified in 1935

Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):

St Enoch Station,

St Enoch Square

G1 4DB
Visitor Centre:

About Glasgow Subway

The world's third oldest underground railway, now operated by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, has the unusual track-gauge of 4 feet and operates two concentric circles with nominal tunnel diameter of 3.35 m, even smaller than that of the deep-level lines of the London Underground which is 3.56 metres at their smallest. The route is 10.5 km in length with 15 stations. It is the world's only underground system never to have been extended.
Constructed by the Glasgow District Railway - opened in 1896, converted from cable haulage to third-rail electric operation in 1935, thoroughly modernised in 1977-9, and soon to be converted to driverless operation with trains supplied by Siemens which, unlike the Docklands Light Railway, will have no crew-member on board.
Known as The Glasgow Underground from 1936 to 2003.The livery of the trains introduced in 1979 briefly gave the Subway the nickname "The Clockwork Orange" however this was mostly in press and travel guides and the Oxford English Dictionary. Locally it is known simply as "The Subway" . Track slopes downwards in both directions from stations, most of which have island platforms. Over 12M passengers are carried each year. Passes twice under the Clyde : stations to the north have remained busy serving the west end and university areas, but to the south some are in old industrial areas where there has been a decline in economic activity and therefore in travel. The former Merkland Street Station was replaced in 1979 with Partick on the reopening of the Argyle Line, and has been rebuilt as a major interchange.

Visitor Centre: historic relics are on display at Buchanan Street Station and in the Riverside Museum

This excellent YouTube video gives a good insight into the superb modern system and its history:

Text: John Yellowleees

Photos: SPT and By BertieB - Own work, CC BY 3.0, 

The Red Wheel unveiling ceremony took place on Friday 18th March 2022 and was very well covered by an article in Glasgow Evening Times - click here to download

St Enoch Station is in front of the St Enoch Centre, a 10-minute walk from Glasgow Central. Buchanan Street Station is adjacent to Glasgow Queen Street.


  • Anderson, Keith, Glasgow Underground: The Glasgow District Subway' published by Amberley in 2014
  • Wright and I. Maclean, Circles under the Clyde: A history of the Glasgow Underground, Capital Transport, 1997, ISBN1-85414-190-2
  • Hunt, John (4–17 June 1997). "Running like clockwork!". RAIL. No. 306. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 30–34. ISSN0953-4563. OCLC49953699.
  • Watson, Glasgow Subway Album George Watson, 2013, ISBN978-1-906311-06-3
  • Bruce, W.R. (1936). Thomas, P.W. (ed.). Electrification of the Glasgow District Subway (Book). Transactions, the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. 79. Glasgow, UK: IESIS. p. 131.
  • L. Thomson and D. E. Sinclair, The Glasgow Subway Scottish Tramway Museum Society, 1964
National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR