Latha math, Glaschu: Glasgow Subway

subway1It is the third subway to open, in 1896, beating NYC by 8 years.

Some of my earliest memories as a kid was riding the NYC Rapid Transit. I remember some lines as real dark (probably the old IND lines) and still having some kind of woven plastic seats that when broken stuck you in the legs. I also remember the “modern” cars with round windows between cars and red Naugahyde seats which were immediately switchbladed and done away with. So anytime I can ride any subway system, I get a good fix on a city.

subway map

The two lines that predated Glasgow’s subway was the London Underground and Budapest’s Yellow Line done for their Exposition of the city. This system was ideal in that it was a circular. That it has one central platform with two directions, referred to as the outer and inner circle. The system has changed very little, as the city has an extensive bus and railroad running with this.

Below is part of two different “ads” from Riverside Museum showing the building of the tunnels and the stations as they were. Notice the skyline now done away with in stations, I heard some stations years ago were very dark. Most stations I was on, still had one platform, originally wood, but today, I assume concrete with tile covering.

subway poster parts together

Luckily I went to the Riverside Museum, which covers transportation and they had two cars from the olden days. One is like in the color illustration above.

subway buchanan street stationThis one is at Buchanan St. Station.

subway trans earlier exteriorAt Riverside Museum, from what I read, painting exterior detail was only on one side of the train, since the trains were only seen from one side!

subway trans earlier interior2

subway trans earlier interior

subway trans earlier interio3These Victorian interiors were very interesting, note the exit door was in a vestibule area and gated with wrought iron.

From the exterior shots, you get a glimpse of how the train shape had to conform to the tunnel it traveled in. The wood seats were good support and overall the decor tried to be parlourlike. The later models below go into leather seats and remind one more of railroads.

subway trans later exteriorThe interior of the newer train.

subway trans later interiorNote the leather seats, they ran a movie to make it more real (below)!

subway trans later interior2

The posters (below) were also from the Riverside Museum.

subway poster 3

subway posters

I tried to get a shot at Kelvinhall Station, whose shell had been disassembled, of the original struction underneath, but it really did not show up, but here it is anyway.

subway kelvinhall

Today cars still have the roundness, which cut into the doors. In some stations there is a second platform which was built to the right of the inner line to accommodate more people in the station. This was probably at Buchanan St. where I watched people exit on a separate platform (photo below).

sub train

The cars are orange and grey, as is the signage for the subway, sometimes referred to as Clockwork Orange. For £1.40* a ride (£2.60** all day), it is a fast and easy way to travel, in a city that is great to walk around in.


*£1.40 =   $2.15                        **£2.60 = $4.00


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