Trivia: Proposed Glasgow Subway Stock

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There were a few occasions pre-modernisation that rolling stock have been proposed.

Firstly, the 1948 proposed extension would see the new rolling stock, which would have been a two-car unit, and would be based on continental tram instead on the tube train already used on 1896 built original circular route we know today. Each coach would be 45 feet long, would have two double doors on each side with half moon windows, and would seat 48 passengers each. Seats would all face the direction of travel, and would be turned by compressed air when the train changes direction at the terminal. The train would have a corridor connection between the two cars and the maximum speed would have been 25.6 mph.

One of the 1948 proposals included Duntocher via Botanic Gardens and Kelvinbridge along Great Western Road to St Enoch.

I came across of a photo of this proposed stock the other day:
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Secondly, a proposed replacement of rolling stock in the early 1960s. The GCT wrote to Pressed Steel about replacing the original 1896 stock which had been operating for 65 years at the time. There was a drawing of steel framed and steeled panelled trailer car, which included two double-leafed doors on the platform side. On the platform side, there would have been 4 seats between the doorways and 9 seats at the ends, and on the non-platform side there would be 30 seats. This gives 52 seats in total. There is no proposed drawing for motor car, but I believe this would have been similar to the trailer car.

Another proposal was to convert existing stock to become 3-car units, and the trailer cars would have centre doors added (as happened of trailer car no.32), and the trains would be ATO operated. The 3-car train consist would have been Motor Car + Trailer Car + Motor Car. Unfortunately this proposal was not been taken forward and was cancelled in 1967.
 
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Taunton

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Wasn't there once a proposal for an east side circle, to match the existing west side circle? Vaguely recall a drawing of this.

The image above (interesting) seems to show a subway line along Argyle Street and two lines, four tunnels, under Buchanan Street. But under Argyle Street at this point is surely the Central Low Level line.

Regarding the 3-car train, I've seen references to this, and I have a recollection when using the line in the 1970s of fleetingly seeing one. Did it exist? Did it carry an additional guard to collect tickets while the station porter dealt with the other two cars as normal?
 

randyrippley

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The Glasgow system has always seemed to me to be the perfect place for either cable haulage or pneumatic power.
On a self-enclosed system you don't need to be hauling the weight of the traction motors and transmission: power can be external.
 

Peter Mugridge

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The Glasgow system has always seemed to me to be the perfect place for either cable haulage or pneumatic power.
On a self-enclosed system you don't need to be hauling the weight of the traction motors and transmission: power can be external.
It was originally cable hauled when first built.
 
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Wasn't there once a proposal for an east side circle, to match the existing west side circle? Vaguely recall a drawing of this.
See https://www.getglasgowmoving.org/reports/extendglasgowsubway.pdf. Page 12 of the PDF has maps of various proposals over the years, including more than one variant of an east side circle.
The image above (interesting) seems to show a subway line along Argyle Street and two lines, four tunnels, under Buchanan Street. But under Argyle Street at this point is surely the Central Low Level line.
I think the proposal in the 1948 Fitzpayne Report was to create what was effectively a light rail system focused on three city centre tunnels, of which two would have been the existing Low Level routes and the third, I think, a new north-south alignment. I'm guessing that two of the tunnels under Buchanan Street in the image are the Subway and the other two the new route. The suburban routes would have used existing heavy rail lines, tramway reservations and some new construction. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any comprehensive map of the plans online, though I remember an article circa 1995 in whatever Modern Tramway magazine was called at the time that had good maps of both the Fitzpayne plan and its predecessor, the Bruce Report (which had more of a role for electric heavy rail; I think there were to be north-south tunnels for both light and heavy rail in that scheme, so that there would be three parallel underground routes across the city centre, counting the Subway).

I believe that Fitzpayne recognised that the Subway would remain independent of the light rail system (apart from passenger interchange) and continue to use bespoke rolling stock because of the constraints of gauge and tunnel diameter. I'm not sure whether he had any proposals for renewing the stock.

Incidentally, Geoffrey Skelsey argues here that the Fitzpayne Report, and the contemporary tram subway/light rail proposals in Leeds, influenced the development of the German Stadtbahnen and Belgian pre-metro systems.
 

Strathclyder

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The reason they converted to electric traction was that it was a more reliable and a lot lower in maintenance than the cable system.
Indeed. A interesting tidbit worth mentioning here that the somewhat archaic method of lighting the train interiors (via two rails mounted on the walls and pickup shoes on the side of the cars) was retained after electification was completed in 1935, right up until closure for refurbishment in May 1977.
 

hexagon789

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Regarding the 3-car train, I've seen references to this, and I have a recollection when using the line in the 1970s of fleetingly seeing one. Did it exist? Did it carry an additional guard to collect tickets while the station porter dealt with the other two cars as normal?
I've only just seen this thread, so apologies for the late reply.

Yes, it existed.

Motors 3 and 56, plus the aforementioned Trailer 32 were converted.

Design work began in early 1955; new resistor grids and, because of the need for MU control, new master controllers were sourced along with new 19-way jumpers. The original MV motors, compressors and the shoe gear were retained.

The layout of the two motors cars was unaltered, and as there was no need for for cab for reverse working, No. 3 had its cab marshalled against the trailer facing the direction of travel. It had its bodywork altered to allow the T-grid skates to be moved to the rear of the car.

Car 32 was damaged in an incident in 1954, hence being picked for the prototype trailer conversion with the extra door in the centre, reducing capacity to 40. Total capacity for the full 3-car set was 124 seated.

The first items of new electrical equipment arrived in January 1958, and those for the second motor car in April.

The trailer was tested first, paired with a normal motor in the usual fashion; the two converted motor cars were then tested in multi to prove the working on the 1st November and the full 3-car set was first tested on the 16th.

Following testing it was decided to increase the number of power 'notches' from 21 to 23, which required further modifications to be made.

It was also found necessary to increase the trip current on the substations due to the increased current demand, bit the new unit proved itself in having ample acceleration - from a stand 19mph was attained in 12 seconds on the level.

The unit was confined to the Outer Circle for its entire life and usually operated Route 9 (I presume that's equivalent to a specific turn/diagram of services) and entered passenger service on the 23 February 1959.

The unit was not without problems, firstly it didn't fit the platforms, the front and rear hanging off, in particular the rear car couldn't have its rear door platformed and there were issues with drivers stopping accurately enough in the early weeks of working. Furthermore, new larger 'NO EXIT' signs had to be made up for the rear car rear door.

There were further issues with hydraulic fluid leaking into the air system and control contacts fusing that caused the unit to be withdrawn from service.

On certain occasions it also operated minus one car, if it was the trailer then both motor cars had to have one motor isolated each.

The unit ran fairly well between August 1961 and January 1963 when 32 was withdrawn for work on its underframe, returning to service in September. The unit then ran through 1964, 1965, 1966 and 7 months into 1967.

Car 3 was withdrawn in August for painting, the unit was then formed up in September but a test run revealed defects.

These were rectified but further power issues seem to have occurred with Car 3 and it does not appear to have been reformed into the 3-car set. Car 56 and 32 seem to have run further, together during early January but Car 56 was withdrawn from service completely by the 13th of January never to return to traffic.

And so there ends the 3-car experiment.

(Details are all taken from the excellent Circles Under the Clyde book.)
 

Taunton

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Thank you for that. Must have been mistaken then, as I was only using the Subway in 1973-5. Possibly a combination of seeing some extra staff at a car door for whatever reason (it was only a glance as I went up the exit steps), plus reading about the 3-car scheme.

Doing test runs must have been a right challenge for the old Subway, with no surface tracks for running at all and the need to get all one circle's trains out with the hoist if you were going right round, otherwise only a partial circle plus then cumbersomely running backwards would be possible.
 
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Thank you for that. Must have been mistaken then, as I was only using the Subway in 1973-5. Possibly a combination of seeing some extra staff at a car door for whatever reason (it was only a glance as I went up the exit steps), plus reading about the 3-car scheme.

Doing test runs must have been a right challenge for the old Subway, with no surface tracks for running at all and the need to get all one circle's trains out with the hoist if you were going right round, otherwise only a partial circle plus then cumbersomely running backwards would be possible.
Cars are lifted out by an indoor crane at Broomloan depot. There were no points or sidings on the pre-1977 system.

Trains did run backwards when Glasgow Subway operated a shuttle service between Govan Cross and Patrick Cross when part of the line was suspended, such as flooding, engineering work, etc.

There was another proposal in 1988, this time after modernisation, for an extension of the Glasgow Subway. One proposal was to extend the network to Maryhill, another to Glasgow Airport. There is also a third proposal to build a smaller, anti-clockwise circle line, serving the Gorbals and High Street.

It is unclear whether extra stock be needed for the proposed extension, but for the Glasgow Airport extension, I’m guessing additional rolling stock would be needed, which would include luggage space, and perhaps being numbered 134 upwards or something.

I have read the PDF enclosed the other day and it has stated that all new Glasgow Subway lines (if any) would have to have larger tunnels with standard gauge tracks, and this would not be compatible with the original 1986 line.

Say, we’re going to have an Eastern Circle. It will call at Buchanan Street, St Enoch and Bridge Street, but would serve the East End of Glasgow, including Parkhead. That line will probably have to have it’s own stock and it’s own depot somewhere. The trains would be definitely be larger than the Clockwork Orange stock used in the west of Glasgow. Nobody did talk about what livery the trains on the Eastern Circle would look, whether it be the same colour as one used on the Clockwork Orange, or perhaps have the trains coloured sky blue instead of orange.

Of course none of the extensions came forward, and we always have the same line serving the west end during its 125 year existence. And of course, no more than three types of rolling stock ever rain on the Glasgow Subway.
 
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greyman42

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Say, we’re going to have an Eastern Circle. It will call at Buchanan Street, St Enoch and Bridge Street, but would serve the East End of Glasgow, including Parkhead. That line will probably have to have it’s own stock and it’s own depot somewhere. The trains would be definitely be larger than the Clockwork Orange stock used in the west of Glasgow. Nobody did talk about what livery the trains on the Eastern Circle would look, whether it be the same colour as one used on the Clockwork Orange, or perhaps have the trains coloured sky blue instead of orange.
Orange trains serving Parkhead would of been interesting!
 

mmh

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The trains would be definitely be larger than the Clockwork Orange stock used in the west of Glasgow. Nobody did talk about what livery the trains on the Eastern Circle would look, whether it be the same colour as one used on the Clockwork Orange, or perhaps have the trains coloured sky blue instead of orange.
But of course only the romantically inclined have ever used the Clockwork Orange name. For your average Glaswegian orange was just the new colour for the buses, and a tiny subset of them had seen they'd painted the subway the same colour, and quite daftly rebranded it "underground" and put huge illuminated "U" signs up. An era before quangos like PTEs bothered asking the users what they thought!
 

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