The first images of the trains to be introduced on the Glasgow subway have been revealed as part of a £200m deal to modernize the system. The 120 year old Glasgow Subway is the third oldest underground system in the world behind London and Budapest. The subway carries 13 million passengers each year, and is currently undergoing its biggest modernisation programme in more than 30 years. Announced by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) it’s a significant step in the Subway Modernisation Programme in the Scottish city.
The contract has gone to a Bussnang AG / Ansaldo STS Consortium for the supply of new trains, signalling and equipment. Peter Jenelten, Executive Vice President Marketing & Sales for Stadler said: “This project is a major milestone for Stadler. It is the first time that Stadler’s rolling stock will be part of a driverless underground system.”
SPT Chair Jonathan Finlay on the announcement: “The SPT Partnership Board is delighted at this award of contract which continues the great work that our staff has been engaged in over the last few years modernising our Subway Stations and infrastructure. The new Rolling stock will provide the travelling public with a much improved journey experience and the system will be more flexible in terms of frequency and availability.”
SPT (@) Chief Executive Gordon Maclennan added; “This contract is a key part of our plan to modernise the Subway for generations to come. We are all aware of the proud rail history of the Subway as the third oldest in the world and our plans for modernisation will ensure that the Subway continues to be an essential component in the transport network of the future.”
The dimensions of the Glasgow Subway are unique, and therefore the new trains will be the same length and size as existing rolling stock but will be a four-car set, as opposed to the current three-car set, with open gangways to maximise the space available and allow for wheelchair access with wheelchair users able to access the system at St Enoch in the City Centre and Govan at the new transport interchange which is currently under construction.
The contracts include the supply of 17 new trains, Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) driverless signalling technology, platform screen doors and depot equipment, and related maintenance support. Ansaldo STS’s (@) share of the cotnract is valued at £ 104.3 million and their CEO, Stefano Siragusa, added that: "We are proud to work on this exciting project of the modernisation of one of the oldest metro systems worldwide, aiming to ease the daily journey for 13 million of passengers per year. Ansaldo STS continues to contribute in the world with renowned products and experienced technological capabilities which provide the utmost safety to future railway systems”.
Derek Mackay (@), Minister for Transport & Islands also said: “I welcome the achievement of this important milestone in the project being taken forward by SPT to modernise the Glasgow Subway, towards the costs of which the Scottish Government will be providing up to £246 million, in line with the commitments we made in 2012. New rolling stock and signalling will help ensure that this historic metro system continues to serve passengers for many years to come.”
Unions have raised some concerns over the fact that the new trains can run driverless. Pat McIlvogue, a Unite union officer quoted in the BBC said: "The modernisation and upgrading of the Glasgow subway system is welcome news. However we await further details about the impacts on jobs and terms and conditions due to automation as driverless trains are proposed to be available by 2020. There are questions around the health and safety of our members and the public that needs to be addressed and SPT must now fully engage with our workplace representatives as soon as possible."
The Subway’s signalling equipment, control systems and control centre will all be replaced to accommodate the new Subway trains and enable improved availability and reliability. The system will include new platform screen doors, which will be ‘half height’ to preserve as much space and openness within the stations as possible while still maintaining passenger safety and security.
Putting at the passenger at the heart of innovative developments is a key part of SmartRail Europe (April 19-20th 2016, at the Passenger Terminal, Amsterdam, Netherlands). The two day event has four unique and focussed congresses within it: Smart Signalling and Telecoms, SmartIT, SmartTrain and SmartPassenger.
The SmartPassenger congress includes representatives from Network Rail (UK), ProRail (Netherlands), SNCF (France), London Overground (UK), Metro Dublin (Republic of Ireland), Deutsche Bahn (Germany), Transport Focus (UK) and more. Click the button on the left to learn more.