Rail franchises operators & contracts

07.05.19

First new driverless Subway trains arrive in Glasgow for testing

The first of Glasgow’s new subway fleet has arrived in Scotland and begun an intensive testing programme in preparation for their launch as the first driverless trains in the UK.

Operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) called the arrival of the new rolling stock, which will be able to run without a single staff member on board, a “major milestone.”

The first of the trains will now enter into an intensive testing programme by its manufacturer Stadler, starting with a lengthy, offline testing period whilst work progresses installing new communications and controls systems in stations and tunnels to prepare the railway lines for passenger services.

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SPT chair councillor Martin Bartos said: “This is a fantastic day for the subway and for everyone involved in the delivery of the subway modernisation programme.

“We are delighted to see the first new train in Glasgow. It’s a big day for the project team who have worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone for the organisation.”

The new trains and communication and control systems are part of a £288m modernisation programme for the Glasgow Subway, also known as ‘clockwork orange.’

The programme includes a major refurbishment of the system’s 15 stations, an overhaul of the Victorian tunnel system, and a replacement of the subway’s main infrastructure, including tracks, ramps and turnouts section.

The unique dimensions of the Glasgow Subway means the new trains are the same length and size as the existing rolling stock, but passengers will now be able to walk the entire length of the train and will also have an open front view into the tunnels.

To date, 11 stations out 15 have now been refurbished, with another two due to be finished by the end of the summer and work on the final two stations to start by the end of the year.

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Two more new trains are due to be delivered by the end of the summer for the first phase of testing. Once the testing is complete, Stadler will hand over the rolling stock to SPT.

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