Glasgow Subway • Looping around the Inner Circle

Glasgow Subway

The Glasgow Subway is an underground metro system serving the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of the oldest underground railway systems in the world, opened in 1896, and hasn’t been extended since. On this trip to Glasgow, I took a ride on the entire Glasgow Subway network.

Buchanan Street Subway Station

I stared my journey from Buchanan Street Subway Station as it is located adjacent to the National Rail Glasgow Queen Street Railway Station.

As it was my first ride on the Glasgow Subway, I headed to the ticket office to buy a Smartcard first. The Smartcard offers cheaper fares than a cash ticket.

Glasgow Subway Tickets

A Smartcard All Day Ticket costs £3 as compared with the cash ticket of £4.20. This is in addition to the cost of the Smartcard which costs £3. But as I would be in Glasgow more than once, the card cost would cancel itself out with the savings on the third All Day Ticket purchased.

Ticket machines are also available but they don’t seem to offer All Day-only top-ups.

Heading through the ticket gates by tapping my Smartcard.

Glasgow Subway Second Generation Metro-Cammell Train

The Glasgow Subway rolling stock consists of just 1 class of second generation Metro-Cammell trains in service since 1980.

The tunnels are rather small, having being completed in 1896, and the track gauge here is smaller than the rest of the UK as well, at a 4 feet (1,220mm) gauge. As such, the trains are quite small as well, even smaller than the London Underground deep-tube lines.

Each second generation Metro-Cammell train set is formed of 3 cars.

The interior of the second generation Metro-Cammell train. Only longitudinal seating is available, with an aisle and standing space just enough for 1 person to walk through.

Grab poles are available along the train, along with rigid overhead (beside-head?) hand grips beside almost every light casing.

The Metro-Cammell branding is seen on the door strip.

Each car is individually separate with no walkthrough possible. Connecting doors are for emergency purposes only.

The route map of the Glasgow Subway.

A map in Gaelic is also available, but this seems to be an advertisement by LearnGaelic.

Here are the Glasgow Subway stations in an anti-clockwise direction from Buchanan Street on the Inner Circle:


St George’s Cross





Partick is an interchange station with the National Rail Partick Railway Station. The Riverside Museum can also be accessed by foot from Partick.




Kinning Park

Shields Road

West Street

Bridge Street

St Enoch

St Enoch is an interchange station with the National Rail Glasgow Central Railway Station. The Riverside Museum can also be accessed by foot from Partick.

Buchanan Street

Back at Buchanan Street after a loop around the Glasgow Subway Inner Circle.

Car 101 has a livery mimicking the first generation rolling stock from 1896 to 1977.

I’ll probably never board a moving second generation Metro-Cammell train again as I don’t expect to be back in Glasgow in 2023, and the new third generation Stadler and Ansaldo STS trains are expected to be launched in 2023, replacing all second generation Metro-Cammell trains.

Buchanan Street Subway Station

The Inner Circle uses the original island platform completed in 1896, and the new side platform for the Outer Circle was completed in 1980. The glass panel is added to separate waiting Inner Circle passengers from the Outer Circle track and train.

There is a direct exit up to Buchanan Street from Buchanan Street Subway Station with bi-directional escalators.

There is also a side exit for connection with National Rail Glasgow Queen Street Railway Station.

The linkway between Buchanan Street Subway Station and National Rail Glasgow Queen Street Railway Station has travellators to speed up the walk.

The Buchanan Street Subway Station travellators leads directly up to ground level.

National Rail Glasgow Queen Street Railway Station is just up ahead from the Buchanan Street Subway Station travellator exit.

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