Glas­gow sub­way takes on new blue look

The Herald - - News - GERRY BRAIDEN gerry.braiden@the­

AS a nick­name it made more sense than the cryp­tic ti­tle of the con­tro­ver­sial Stan­ley Kubrick movie.

The Clock­work Orange, the term of af­fec­tion for Glas­gow’s rudi­men­tary sub­way sys­tem since the early 1980s, is no more.

The last car­riage with the char­ac­ter­is­tic orange liv­ery has now been taken out of cir­cu­la­tion as part of the mod­erni­sa­tion of the sub­way’s rolling stock. All the trailer cars in Strath­clyde Part­ner­ship for Trans­port’s sub­way fleet are be­ing re­built, the in­te­ri­ors re­designed and ex­te­ri­ors re­branded at a cost of £1.7m.

The first of the newly re­fur­bished cars, with a bright blue ex­te­rior in sup­port of Glas­gow’s bid to host the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games, came into ser­vice yes­ter­day com- plete with new sus­pen­sion and brak­ing sys­tems, re­place­ment up­hol­stery with “con­tem­po­rary colour scheme” in line with SPT’s trade­mark carmine and cream colours and new in­te­rior light­ing to as­sist the vis­ually im­paired.

Other im­prove­ments in­clude a re­design of in­te­rior hand rails, in line with the re­quire­ments of the Dis­abil­ity Dis­crim­i­na­tion Act.

The work­was car­ried out by Glas­gow-based Rail­care Ltd.

Glas­gow’s sub­way, the third old­est in the world af­ter Lon­don and Bu­dapest, adopted the brash orange brand­ing fol­low­ing a ma­jor over­haul of the sys­tem in 1980.

John Mess­ner, cu­ra­tor of trans­port and tech­nol­ogy at the Glas­gow Mu­seum of Trans­port, said the orange gave the sub­way a dis­tinc­tion from its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion, as well as other un­der­ground rail sys­tems.

He said: “Orange wasn’t unique but it was to­tally dif­fer­ent from be­fore and its hard to think of an­other sub­way which had that con­sis­tent orange colour. It was ap­pre­ci­ated and loved by many peo­ple and there’ll be many mem­o­ries of it.”

SPT chair­man Alis­tair Wat­son said: “The sub­way sys­tem has served Glas­gow well for more than 100 years and re­mains an im­por­tant part of the trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.

“We’re un­der no il­lu­sion that Glas­gow, as a 21st cen­tury city, needs a mod­ern sub­way.”

Pic­ture: Ian McLean

OFF THE TRACKS: The last of the old-style Clock­work Orange car­riages is re­moved from ser­vice.

GAMES COLOURS: Two of the newly re­fur­bished cars.

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