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SPT offers the first glimpse of its new driverless Subway fleet

May 8 2019

SPT offers the first glimpse of its new driverless Subway fleet

SPT has taken possession of the first of 17 four carriage subway trains which will eventually circle beneath the streets of Glasgow once a programme of testing and tunnel upgrades complete.

Manufacturer Stadler will now put the trains through their paces to ensure a smooth migration to passenger service once new communication and control systems have been installed across each station and connecting tunnels.

Built to the precise dimensions of the diminutive Victorian network the new carriages appear much the same at first glance but upon entering passengers will be able to traverse the entire length of the train without obstruction.

Moreover, the fleet will operate without drivers, giving passengers a rollercoaster view of their journey with a fully glazed window to the front and rear, increasing passenger capacity from 270 to 309 in the process.

Temporary cab partitions have been installed for initial passenger runs which will be removed following a full transition to unattended operation.

A £288m modernisation of the city’s subway system has seen 11 of 15 stations revamped; with remodelling of St George’s Cross and Cowcaddens to be completed this summer.

Kinning Park and West Street will be the final two stations to benefit from the programme, with refurbishment commencing at the end of the year.


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 8 May 2019 at 16:10 PM
Story is very confusing -- are we talking about 17 trains or 17 carriages?

My understanding is that the new trains will be made up of 3 carriages and we will need 17 trains to provide the desired service.

That means 51 carriages at the very least.

Then there is the station refurbishment element -- what stations are being refurbished at the moment and are you sure that KP and WS are shut and will re-open at the end of the year?

Just a pity that the city that was once the largest builder of locomotives in Europe now has to rely on a Swiss start-up to deliver the trains that the system desperately needs.

Maybe one of the universities could do a bit of research on why this sorry situation has come about?

I'm sure they could stretch it to work out how nano-technology can save the day.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#2 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 8 May 2019 at 16:17 PM
On a more positive note Stadler have made more progress taking rail based public transport in the general direction of GLA in the last 6 months than the TS pen pushers have in 20 years.

Expand the subway using the link to the surface maintenance area?
#3 Posted by UR on 8 May 2019 at 16:23 PM
Yes, there will be 17 trains of four carriages. Up from 12 trains with three carriages currently.

St. G and Cowcaddens refurbishment is ongoing, completing in the summer. KP and WS won’t begin until the end of the year, sorry.
jimbob tanktop
#4 Posted by jimbob tanktop on 9 May 2019 at 01:17 AM
If these trains are driverless, will we get a half-decent Sunday or late-night service? I seem to recall we don't due to drivers' reluctance to work extra hours.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#5 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 9 May 2019 at 10:44 AM
#5 -- Interesting analysis.

From what you say the Nats / Tartan Tories will have their work cut out developing an economic strategy.

Not sure if it would go down well with the face painters over on Wings over Bath?

Main point is that what little train engineering we seemed to have seems to have gone.

From memory we even had a plant in Kilmarnock making shunters and small scale freight locos.

It would be interesting to understand why Stadler can come from nowhere to be a major force in passenger trains covering a wide range types and customers while Kilmarnock has at best stagnated and Springburn seems lost.

My thoughts are get the universities involved.
They need to live in the real world.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#6 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 9 May 2019 at 10:49 AM
Interesting that they claim the trains are now 4 carriages -- they still have six bogies.

Just a case that they are made up of two 2 carriage articulated half trains -- you have to hand it to Stadler regarding design efficiency and design re-use.

It would be interesting to find out their pay rates regarding blue collar / touch labour?

At today's exchange rate they much be heading towards £20 per hour all in.

Great what high productivity can do for the economy.
#7 Posted by Asimov on 9 May 2019 at 11:57 AM
#6 - Bloke, with all due respect something is truly bothering you recently. Take it easy, it's just another example of polishing the turd. The one and only purpose of this 'metro' is to be a barrel of laugh for last remaining tourist in this town.

Speaking of pricing - I bet dollars again nutshells that once new stock rolls in, a single ticket ride will skyrocket way above £2. Less and less appealing for a funicular joyride, huh?
#8 Posted by Alf on 9 May 2019 at 13:53 PM
Its all very, interesting.
Gandalf the Pink
#9 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 9 May 2019 at 15:03 PM
@FBOT, have a watch. Maybe crack open a mid strength beer and take a well earned break from the woes of the world.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#10 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 10 May 2019 at 12:46 PM
On the design front the new subway trains look to be a big step forward and if handled correctly the increase in the opening ours and the reduced waiting times should drive forward the passenger numbers so that this huge asset is better utilised.

The newness will drag in the nosey and hopefully the better performance will keep them coming back.

Consequently huge step forward and a huge improvement on the new trains above them. The Class 385's are as ugly as sin -- styling to stun pigs with. And then you have the 70's vintage HST's with their "Jobby Wheekers" which in efficiency terms are as dead as disco.

Great opportunity to develop a local industry using the leftover MK3 carriages suitably updated to remove the flying effluent -- Job done sometime after 2020 by all accounts -- and developing a new flexible powertrain.

Fully electrified units of 7 carriages -- Two new build power cars running underfloor Cummins gensets, new build central pantograph car for use under the wires and 4 refurbished MK3 carriages with batteries underneath to aid acceleration and provide a regen capability.

Planned HST units = 300 seats @ 300T / 1990's Dirty Diesel all the way.

Real innovation = 400 seats @ 290T / Dual mode with short range battery power from 4 x 100KWHr batteries that can be charged fully overnight and then used throughout the day with either regen or generator input to stretch out their use.

You could always get the universities involved to test out their nano-technology.

#11 Posted by partypooper on 12 May 2019 at 21:45 PM
New trains look nice and increased service would be great but not looking forward to being forced to share space with drunk idiots on a subcrawl/stag/hen do what with the connected carriages...

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