Actually, maybe they should have, as Glasgow’s subway is the third oldest underground metro system in the world after the London Underground and Budapest Metro. But all our Christmases have come at once, because a fleet of brand new subway trains has been spotted on the system in Glasgow for the first time.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) said two trial exercises of these new trains have taken place successfully in the Glasgow Subway. The first of the new Glasgow Subway trains- built by contractors Stadler and Hitachi -have rolled into the system following the close of passenger service on December 4, running through the night into December 5.
The initial exercise was to run a new train from the testing site to Broomloan Depot and then to Govan Station – firstly to see that the train could travel under its own power into the Subway. The second stage was to see if the depot locos (normally used to move equipment around the system for our night maintenance teams or to rescue broken-down trains) could take the train out of the system should they be needed at any point to “rescue” a train.
Both exercises proved very successful and planning is now underway to begin intensive testing of the new trains in the Glasgow Subway system next year. However, the new trains are not likely to be in general use until 2023, with 17 eventually expected to be running.
SPT Subway Director Antony Smith said: “I am delighted that these initial exercises, ahead of the in-system testing which is due to begin next year, went well. This has been an event long in the planning.
“It is an indication that things are moving forward again after a challenging year for the project with the impact of COVID and lockdowns as well as the subsequent travel restrictions for our contractors. However, as 2021 comes to an end, getting the first train into the system is real progress and a sign, that we can hope 2022 sees us get back on track with the modernisation programme.”