Facts and Tidbits about the Glasgow Subway

The Facts

Third oldest underground railway in the world

Opened in 1896, after London (1863) and Budapest (1896)

Nicknamed "The Clockwork Orange"

Due to its circular route and the orange color of its carriages introduced in the 1970s

Entirely underground system

One of the few metros in the world that operates completely below ground

Circular route

The line forms a loop, covering 6.5 miles (10.5 km) in total

Unique track gauge

Uses a narrow gauge of 4 ft (1,219 mm), uncommon among metro systems

Originally cable-hauled

Trains were pulled by cables until electrification in 1935

15 stations

Serves key areas of Glasgow on both sides of the River Clyde

Busiest station

Hillhead station, serving the West End and University of Glasgow area

Shortest distance between stations

Only 1,024 feet (312 m) between Shields Road and Kinning Park

Deepest station

Cowcaddens, at 115 feet (35 m) below ground level

Modernization closure

Closed for three years (1977-1980) for a major renovation

Passenger numbers

Carries approximately 13 million passengers annually

Operating hours

Runs from early morning until around 11:30 PM, with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays

Single fare system

Uses a simple flat fare for any journey, regardless of distance

Smartcard ticketing

Introduced the "Subway Smartcard" for convenient, cashless travel

Park and Ride facilities

Offers parking at Bridge Street, Kelvinbridge, and Shields Road stations

Accessibility improvements

Ongoing project to install elevators at all stations for step-free access

New driverless trains

Introducing a fleet of modern, driverless trains to replace the aging rolling stock

Unique station design

Many stations feature distinctive island platforms between the two tracks

Cultural icon

Featured in various films, TV shows, and artworks, becoming a symbol of Glasgow

Fastest journey time

A complete circuit of the system takes approximately 24 minutes

Frequent service

Trains run every 4 minutes during peak times and every 6-8 minutes during off-peak hours

Wartime use

Stations were used as air raid shelters during World War II

Commonwealth Games role

Played a key role in transporting athletes and spectators during the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Future expansion plans

Proposals have been made to extend the system, though none have been implemented to date

Noise levels

Known for being one of the noisiest subway systems due to its tight tunnels and curves

Engineering challenges

The subway's construction faced difficulties due to Glasgow's geology and existing infrastructure

Subway map with stops

Plan your subcrawl

View the Glasgow Subway stations and plan your subcrawl.