škoda 2024

Glasgow new subway trains entered passenger service

posted on 8th Jan 2024 15:36

On 11 December 2023, for the first time, passengers in Glasgow had the chance to travel on the new subway trains, which Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) will gradually be introducing into commercial operation. Following their final testing by Stadler, SPT decided to enter the first of the new trains into the system for their maiden passenger trip.  This follows a long testing period, both offsite at the dedicated testing area near the Broomloan Depot and in the Subway at night once the system has closed to passenger service. 

These 17 special trains have been built for the Glasgow Subway, one of the oldest underground networks in the world. The system operates solely within its original Victorian network, featuring particularly small-scale infrastructure and unusually narrow tracks and tunnel gauges. The new trains are the same length and size as the existing ones but are now a four-car sets, as opposed to the current three-car sets, with open gangways to maximise the space available. 

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 new trains are, however, just the next stage in the Subway modernisation programme as SPT continues with work behind the scenes to replace the Subway’s signalling and communications system. Still to come is the introduction of the new operational control centre which will be key to improving the availability and reliability of passenger service.

SPT will also be introducing platform screen doors (PSDs) to station platforms. These will be ‘half height’ to preserve as much space and openness within the stations as possible while still maintaining passenger safety and security. Once these key milestones have been reached, SPT can then 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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