First Glasgow Subway driverless train goes on show

Driverless trains for the Glasgow Subway went on show for the first time today.

The first train on show in Berlin today. Picture: Stefan Baguette
The first train on show in Berlin today. Picture: Stefan Baguette

They are due to enter service in 2020 before operating with no staff on board from the following year.

The first Swiss-built train was exhibited at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.

The open-plan trains will enable passengers to walk from end to end to find a seat, with windows at either end for views along tunnels.

The new trains will be open plan to maximise passenger space. Picture: Stefan Baguette

The 17-strong fleet will cost £203 million, the bulk of £288m overhaul of the six-mile circular underground railway which is the third oldest in the world.

The Scotsman revealed in January they would be the first in the UK to run with no staff on board.

Operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) previously announced the trains would be driverless, but has now confirmed no other staff will routinely ride in the carriages either.

On other UK underground lines with no drivers, such as on the Docklands Light Railway in London, on-board staff operate the doors.

The trains are due to enter service in 2020. Picture: Stefan Baguette

However, such "unattended train operation" is already in use on some underground lines in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen.

SPT chair Dr Martin Bartos said: “I’m delighted to see these pre-delivery pictures of the first new train from manufacturers Stadler.

"It’s an exciting time for SPT and everyone involved in this challenging transport project.

"Like every other Subway user, I‘m looking forward to seeing our new trains in Glasgow, but I know there is a long way to go before new trains are in the system.

Passengers will be able to see along tunnels from the end windows. Picture: Stefan Baguette

"Once they start to be delivered there will still be an extensive testing period to ensure we get things right for our passengers.

“However I think these first images show there is a lot to look forward to.”

The Glasgow Subway's biggest refurbishment for 40 years will also see signalling upgardes to enable trains to operate more frequently - every three minutes, and up to every two minutes before and after football matches.

That compares with up to every four minutes at present.Unite official Pat McIlvogue said: "SPT's future vision involves a Subway system which is ticketless, with no counter staff, no staff on platforms and no staff on trains.

The trains will initially have drivers in 2020 before becoming fully automatically controlled the following year. Picture: Stefan Baguette