GLASGOW UNDERGROUND
GLASGOW UNDERGROUND MAP

In 1890 the Glasgow District Subway Company was successful in it's application to build & operate a small (6 and a 1/2 miles) circular underground railway around the West, Central, & Southern areas within, & bordering, the City of Glasgow.  Opened in 1896, it ran a fleet of cable hauled, diminutive, trains, propelled by a winding engine in Scotland Street and served 15 stations dotted in a rough circle around the city.ved 15 stations dotted in a rough circle around the city.

GLASGOW UNDERGROUND STATION MAP

GLASGOWS UNDERGROUND STATIONS

Click on any Station picture and see what the station was like at platform level

St Enoch subway station is the first station on the north of the River Clyde on the Glasgow Subway. It is located in Glasgow city centre, Scotland. Although it does not have direct interchange with the main line railway, it is located approximately halfway between Glasgow Central station and Argyle Street railway station.

Above ground, the original station building housed both a booking office and the headquarters of the original Glasgow District Subway Railway Company. This was (and is) the Subway's most distinctive building. It is an ornate Jacobean and late Victorian red sandstone structure. The building was designed by James Miller in 1896.

It still stands - it was carefully preserved during the modernisation of the Subway in 1977, even being jacked up in the air for a while, during reconstruction of the subsurface platforms.

70yrs OF GLASGOW UNDERGROUND

The company title was changed to the Glasgow Subway Railway Co in 1914.  By 1923 the company was having serious financial difficulties and accepted an offer from Glasgow  Corporation Tramways (GCT) to purchase the system.

The Corporation had  already taken over the day-to-day operational running during the  previous year. After some experimentation the Subway was fully electrified by 1935, and the gripper cars fitted with 600 volt motors  & control gear to collect power via a third rail, the power coming  from the Corporation owned Pinkston Power Station, which also supplied  the trams. A colour light signaling system was also added. Two years  later GCT officially changed the 'Subway' title to 'Underground'. Over the years St Georges Cross, Govan Cross & Copland Road, were all rebuilt and all the stations received some minor modernisation work, but apart from these changes the entire system ran largely unaltered until 1977.

TICKET COLLECTOR WITH A CIGARETTE IN HIS MOUTH
GLASGOW UNDERGROUND TICKETS
GLASGOW UNDERGROUND GUARDS WHISTLE

After their purchase of the Subway GCT issued standard bus & tram crew uniforms to the Subway staff. Station Masters also wore a 'Station Master' worded embroidered badge on their jacket collars.

Local government reorganisation in 1973 brought the end of GCT. The Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Authority and it's operational wing the Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive (GGPTE) took over the bus fleet and the Underground. In 1975 the whole organisation was then absorbed into the new Strathclyde Regional Council, but the GGPTE title was retained until late 1980 when it was renamed Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive (SPTE).

New Cars from Metro Cammell Ltd. These new cars were formed into two car trains but unlike the old rolling stock each car was powered. Broomloan Road Depot was also extended & rebuilt with points & running lines to the  surface. The old crane was no longer required. Light orange with a white stripe was chosen as the new livery, with the latest SPTE public branding,"Trans-Clyde", applied in addition to the stylised "GG" logo.

The Queen reopened the Underground at a ceremony in November 1979, however it was to be mid 1980 before the last problems were ironed out and a  regular service started to run. The Underground again became a popular way of travelling around the city.

GLASGOW UNDERGROUND RULES
GLASGOW UNDERGROUND GOVAN CROSS
GLASGOW UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

In 1981 a darker orange (known originally as 'Govan Orange', and later as 'Strathclyde Red') was introduced as the standard colour, the "GG" logo was dropped. In 1983 the "Trans-Clyde" was also dropped for the new "Strathclyde Transport" title with the Strathclyde Regional Council map logo alongside. As  passenger numbers were increasing there was a need for more capacity. It was decided to order eight unpowered cars from Hunslet TP Ltd, each was to be placed between two power cars thus forming a three car train.

In 1996 yet more Government reorganisation led to the end of Strathclyde Regional Council. A reformed Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority, comprised of 12 Strathclyde area councils, was given control of SPTE and it remained the operator of the Underground, although a shortened title Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT), was now used. Another change in 2003 saw the Underground officially regain it's old name, the 'Subway'.

GLASGOW UNDERGROUND TO VIDEOS

On the 1st of April 2006, a new body the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, took over all current roles and functions of the SPTA & SPTE. The new body will still use the abbreviation, SPT. Glasgow has the distinction of possessing the only underground railway in the world that was originally planned for operation by cable traction, and the only one that has used this method of working continuously from its opening until its recent electrification. This unique railway all the more merits description, since the cable railway has now joined the atmospheric railway as a thing of the past.

MAINTENENCE SHED
MAINTENENCE SHED
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED CRANE LIFTING A CARAGE
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED
CRANE MAINTENANCE SHED
MAINTENENCE SHED
MAINTENANCE SHED CARRAGE LINK-UP
MAINTENANCE SHED WORKERS
MAINTENANCE SHED CARRAGES STORED
MAINTENANCE SHED CARRAGES STORED
MAINTENENCE SHED TUNNEL
GCT UNDERGROUND DEPOT OFFICES

On the 1st of April 2006, a new body the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, took over all current roles and functions of the SPTA & SPTE. The new body will still use the abbreviation, SPT. Glasgow has the distinction of possessing the only underground railway in the world that was originally planned for operation by cable traction, and the only one that has used this method of working continuously from its opening until its recent electrification. This unique railway all the more merits description, since the cable railway has now joined the atmospheric railway as a thing of the past.

Apart from the Brighton Electric Railway and the Giant's Causeway and Portrush line - both of which were,  however, planned rather as attractions for holiday-makers than with a  view to handling heavy day-to-day traffic - electric traction was  already being used underground in the United Kingdom on the City and  South London Railway. The initial section of this had been opened as far back as December, 1890. The directors of this pioneer tube had also  originally planned to use cable haulage, but they were eventually  induced to take a longer view before they had committed themselves too  far in the matter. On the other hand, the syndicate of Glasgow business  men responsible for the subway scheme were apparently not inclined to  attach too much importance to electrical transport development in the  United Kingdom.

The subway was opened for traffic on December 14, 1896; but, owing to an accident, the service was obliged to close down the same day, and the line did not open for  regular working until January 19, 1897. Since 1923 it has been owned and operated by the Corporation of Glasgow, in conjunction with tramway  system. The gauge is unusual one of 4 ft. When the subway was  electrified, the rolling-stock was adapted to meet the new conditions. The carriages measure about 42 ft. overall, and run on two four-wheel  bogies.

The subway is carried in twin tunnels, nominally 11 ft. in diameter, which lie side by side at  distances varying from 2 ft. 6 in. to 6 ft. The inner and outer lines are thus kept distinct, save at the stations, where the tunnels merge  into a single arched tunnel with a span of 28 ft. Except in those  sections where it was necessary to line the tunnels with iron (under the Clyde and elsewhere where geological conditions necessitated  reinforcement). connecting passages, or manholes, are placed at intervals of 25 yards. Curves and gradients are, in the main, on the easy side, but the western and eastern under-river sections have  inclines an steep as 1 in 18 and 1 in 20 respectively.

The cable system was characterised by a number of unusual features.  There were two cables, driven by steam from a main power station, one  for each tunnel. Each cable was an inch and a half thick, and weighed  about 57 tons. The cables were placed between the tracks, kept in motion during the whole of the time that the line was open to traffic, and ran at a uniform speed of twelve and a half miles an hour. Beneath the cars was a gripper device. When this was applied to the cable the cars moved forward, while its release brought them to a standstill. The gripper  itself was composed of two steel jaws, of which the bottom one was  fixed, while the upper one was designed so as to be raised or lowered on the actuation by the driver of an arrangement of links and levers. It will be seen that this method provided a simple means of starting and  stopping the trains on a line on which the haulage cables were in  continual motion.

A SAFETY DEVICE incorporated in the Glasgow District Subway is the train-stop that will bring the train to a halt should a signal at danger be passed inadvertenlly. A track treadle operates a lever by the line,  which in turn engages with a trip cock on the leading bogie of the  motor. The Illustrations show the train stop on the line (right), and  the mechanism opened up. Where the cable system has been used on tramways it has always been  necessary to place the cable in a conduit, both because of the risk of  damage, and because of the danger and inconvenience to other traffic if  it were not carried below track level.

On the Glasgow Subway the cable  was raised, so that the lowest part of the gripper could project several inches above the rails. Normally the gripper gear was worked by a hand  lever; but. to guard against the contingency of this not being used by  the driver at the crossovers where the cables entered and left the power station, a small roller was provided for the purpose of making with bar between the rails. This contact automatically brought the operation. To stop a train at a station the upper jaw of the gripper was raised so as to bring it slightly out of contact with the cable.
 
The railway has always been handicapped by certain features of design  and equipment that place special difficulties in the way of operation,  and cannot be done away with save at prohibitive cost. Among those  handicaps is the small size of the stations, which is responsible for  the limitation of the trains to two cars; the gauge, which has  complicated the work of electrification; the difficult station  approaches; and the entire absence of crossovers or sidings. This last  stereotypes the train service, since there are no facilities for "laying by" cars during periods of minimum traffic.

THE TRACTION GEAR on one of the bogies of the reconstructed coaches. To allow for the mounting of two 60 h.p. traction motors on each bogie the  wheel base has had to be increased to 5 ft. 6 in. Another difficulty is that there is no accommodation for the proper stabling of the trains when they come off duty at night. It is necessary to "bunch" them in the tunnels for cleaning and repairs; and, should a  car have to be brought to the surface for heavy repairs or overhaul, it  has to be lifted to the workshops at street level by a crane, an  operation that can be carried out only during non-working hours, unless  the whole service is to be interrupted.

Reference has already been made to the "nominal" tunnel diameter; this is, in fact, not uniform throughout, and in places the walls have  encroached to such an extent that it was found impossible to mount the "live" conductor at the usual height at the side of the running rails. Thus, to secure an adequate clearance between the tunnel walls and the carriage bogies, a higher elevation was adopted, in which position the  brackets supporting the live rails had to be designed specially so as to obtain the necessary degree of rigidity.

The solution here was to mount the brackets on steel sleepers, with intervening sleepers of hardwood;  but this in turn produced another problem, since the use of steel  sleepers prevented the employment of track circuiting.
 
The problem has been solved by utilising the conductor rails from which current for lighting is supplied to the trains. These conductors, which are fed by alternating current, and are carried on the walls of the tunnels. have been divided into signalling sections of suitable length, the lighting current thus operating the signals. In normal conditions, only one train occupies a section at a time; when this is occupied the lighting current actuates the signal, and, since the current does not flow when the section is unoccupied, the "line clear" indication is given. To guard against the remote contingency of a train entering a section with extinguished lights, a "track instrument" is installed at the entrance to each signalling section, and the passing of a train over this appliance automatically puts the signal protecting that section at danger until the section is cleared. The equipment includes also the automatic train stop and the trip cock as used on the London Underground railways. In addition, there are tunnel wires throughout the system. These not only enable the traction current to be cut off in an emergency, but can be used also for telephoning to the nearest station in the event of breakdown in the tunnels, the drivers being provided with telephones.
 
Another feature of the equipment is that every station master is given control over the power supply within the section of line under his jurisdiction. At each station there is a building for housing the traction switch gear, the telephone equipment, and the relays and other signalling apparatus. An indicator panel shows the station master the position of the signals on both the inner and outer running roads. Three-aspect colour light signalling is used. The shape of the line and absence of crossovers eliminate any train-reversing movements, so driving equipment is provided at only one end of the trains.

The electric rolling-stock itself consists of the old cable cars suitably reconstructed. Even now the trains are necessarily limited to two coaches. With cable traction, only the leading car in each two-coach unit was equipped with gripper gear. These leading coaches have been reconstructed to take traction motors, a process involving the construction of new bogies and the increase of the bogie wheelbase from 5 ft. to 5 ft. 6 in. New and improved springing is provided by a combination of helical and laminated springs, reinforced by rubber washers. The coaches have an overall length of 42 ft. and seat forty-two passengers, while there is also ample standing accommodation.

As originally constructed, the seating of the coaches was arranged longitudinally, as on the early City and South London Railway stock. Although in more recent underground railway vehicles the combination of cross and longitudinal seating has been employed, it has been decided to make no alteration in the seating of these converted Glasgow Subway coaches. The reasons adduced are that not only is the design considered to facilitate the entrance and exit of passengers, but that it also makes easier the inspection and repair of such appliances as the pneumatic door control gear and collapsible gates.

The coaches have no middle doors, but there is a wide entrance and exit platform at either end, similar to those provided on the original Central London Railway vehicles. In the cars of the Glasgow Subway, since this design involves the use of the front vestibule both by the driver and the passengers, special precautions have been taken to prevent the manipulation of the control gear by any unauthorised person. The track work of the subway consists of 80 lb. rails for the running roads, and flat-bottomed 60 ft. rails for the live conductors. A "switch back" facilitates the stopping and starting of trains, the station approaches at either end being constructed on a gradient of 1 in 40.

 


 TUNNEL LOOKING BACK INTO STATION GCT UNDERGROUND DEPOT OFFICES

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GOVAN CROSS OLD UNDERGROUND STATION ENTRANCE 1933
OLD GOVAN CROSS STATION PLATFORM LEVEL
LOOKING INTO THE TUNNEL TO SEE THE TRAIN ARRIVING AT GOVAN CROSS STATION
UNDERGROUNDS OLD CABLE DRIVEN  ENGINE
St. ENOCH's STATION UNDER COMPLETE RE-CONSTRUCTION
UNDERGROUNDS OLD CABLE DRIVEN  SYSTEM ENGINE
GLASGOWS UNDERGROUND SUBWAY TUNNEL
OLD CABLE DRIVEN UNDERGROUND OPENING IN 1896
OLD CABLE DRIVEN  SYSTEM ENGINE CABLE PULLY
HILLHEAD STATION ENTRANCE
KELVINBRIDGE STATION ENTRANCE
St. GEORGES CROSS STATION ENTRANCE
COWCADDENS STATION ENTRANCE
BUCHANAN STREET ENTRANCE
HEAD OFFICE St, ENOCH STATION ENTRANCE
BRIDGE STREET STATION ENTRANCE
WEST STREET STATION ENTRANCE
SHIELDS ROAD STATION ENTRANCE
COPLAND ROAD STATION ENTRANCE
CESSNOCK STATION ENTRANCE
GOVAN CROSS STATION ENTRANCE
MERKLAND STREET STATION ENTRANCE
PARTICK CROSS STATION ENTRANCE
KINNING PARK STATION ENTRANCE
St. ENOCH REBUILD

Old St. Enoch Station Entrance being rebuilt

St ENOCH's UPPER STSTION ENTRANCE

St Enoch’s Station Entrance before the rebuilding on the Glasgow Underground in 1970s

GOVAN CROSS STATION BEING REBUILT

Late in the 1970's the Glasgow Underground  was rebuilt. This is the Govan Station Entrance  where the original island platform has been  replaced with two much wider platforms making loading and unloading the trains much easier.  This picture was taken in the July of 1977.  Today it looks like in the view below.



This is Govan Cross Underground/Subway Station Today in Govan

OLD CABLE DRIVEN UNDERGROUND OPENING IN 1896

MyGOVAN
MyGOVAN 2016
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