Guide to using the Glasgow Subway during the Commonwealth Games

Guide to using the Glasgow Subway during the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games 2014

Glasgow is very proud to be hosting the Commonwealth Games 2014 this year and there will be a huge influx of visitors to the city for the event. We at Glasgow Subway Stories have brought together some of the information available to help guide you through using the Glasgow Subway during the games.

The main information portal provided by the SPT site can be found can be found at the Official Glasgow Subway Guide.
For more general advice on travelling round Glasgow during the Games and how to get to specific events then you can visit the Official Commonwealth Games Guide for Transport.

Glasgow is a very well run modern city (on the whole!) and you should have no trouble using the any of the transport facilities to get to and from games venues. Everything usually runs on time and the Subway have made a pledge to run trains every 4 minutes, which should mean there will always be a train along shortly.

Using your Commonwealth Games event ticket

The great news is that if you have an event ticket then you can use it for free travel in and around the city centre of Glasgow. Any games event ticket is valid in the G1 – G8 transport zone and this pretty much covers all the main central areas of Glasgow and the inner suburbs, including virtually all of the main venues.

Just turn up to a subway station, present your event ticket to the staff at the station and they should be able to direct you from there. It should also work on most buses and overland rail services as well. It’s not often us Scots give away stuff for free so make the most of it!

Longer opening

Glasgow Underground will be extending its operating time to meet the increased demand for the games


First Trains Last Trains
 St Enoch 06:00  Buchanan Street 00:47
 Govan  05:57  Govan 00:34

It is important to note that the main terminus for the subway is at Ibrox so if you are getting on the last train then it is advisable to get on the correct side. Check the map and make sure the subway station you want to depart at is before Govan or Ibrox.

A map of Commonwealth Games venues and the Glasgow Subway
Venues closest to the Subway

The Venues

It is important to note that most of the main venues for the Commonwealth Games are in the East End of Glasgow. The Glasgow Subway primarily serves the city centre, the west end and the south side of Glasgow and goes absolutely nowhere near the East End. More about this later.

There are 4 city centre venues and if you are going to them then the subway may be your best option. They are:-

Ibrox Stadium – will host the Rugby Sevens.

SECC Precinct – will host the Weightlifting, Gymnastics, Netball, Wrestling, Judo and Boxing.

Kelvingrove – will host the Bowles

Scotstoun – will host the Squash and Tennis

If you are staying in the city centre then most of these venues are probably within easy reach anyway but a quick hop on and off the subway may take you a lot closer and save you some walking time. It should be noted that Scotstoun is not within easy walking distance and you will need to change to low level.

Ibrox Stadium

Ibrox is by far the best venue for using the subway. Ibrox Subway Station sits right next to the stadium itself and so it should simply be a case of getting on, getting off and turning up. When you exit the subway the stadium looms in the background so you really have no chance of getting lost.

It is all fairly well signposted and when the name of the station matches the name of the stadium you really can’t go far wrong.  If you are coming in from Queen Street / Buchanan St or Central / St Enoch then it is best to take the southern route via the Outer Circle and miss out the busy stretch of Hillhead.

The SECC Precinct

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre is one of the main venues in Glasgow for entertainment and includes the SECC itself, the Hydro and a number of other smaller facilities.

It is important to note that there is a low level train station next door called Exhibition Centre and you can join this rail line at Partick and at Glasgow Central (St Enoch subway station). Please be aware that Exhibition Centre sits on a line that runs between Partick and Glasgow Central and DOES NOT link to Queen Street. If you are travelling to the SECC precinct then it might be a good idea to get off at Partick or St Enoch and travel the remaining distance on low level.

If you don’t want to use the low level and walk, then the nearest station is Cessnock. When you get off the subway – turn left and head towards the Glasgow Tower in the distance. It’s the tall thin thing on the horizon that looks a bit like a vertical wing. You will have to do a few turns to avoid some industrial buildings and Festival Park but once you see the river it is a straight walk. There’s quite an interesting part of Glasgow beyond the park with the BBC headquarters, the Science Centre and the IMAX so not a bad walk to do.


Kelvingrove is one of the smaller venues and is quite near the SECC precinct. You can get off the subway at Kelvinhall but if you want to see some of Glasgow as well then walking from Hillhead will take you through the University of Glasgow. Both are at least a 10 – 20 minute walk depending on your speed and Hillhead does involve some incline so not recommended for those who don’t like a bit of exercise – which should rule out most of the locals then.

Come out of Kelvinhall, turn left and keep going. Hillhead means turning left, then left again at University Avenue and up and down the hill.


Scotstoun is quite a bit further outside the network and is not realistically within walking distance (unless you are one of those fit Tennis and Squash playing types!). The nearest subway station is Partick but handily enough the low level rail services will run out to Scotstoun railway station which is much closer. Just swap on to the low level and head west. Walking is estimated at a good hour if time is an issue.

East End Venues

If you are staying in the city centre, especially the West End or the South West of the city then you can use the Glasgow Subway to get to the right rail terminus.

The nearest rail connection to the Athletes village is at Dalmarnock low level station and this line runs direct from Glasgow Central and Partick (not Queen Street – you need to change at Central). You can see the map of the network here.

If you want to use Glasgow Central then get off at St Enoch subway, turn left along Argyle Street and keep going under the strange darkened world of the Hielanman’s Umbrella. The entrance to Central station is on the right at the end – just make sure you go down to the low level platforms not up to the main station. It’s about a 5 minute walk.

If you want to use Partick then the rail station sits above the subway station so it is a straight transfer.

Queen Street low level rail does give access to the East End of Glasgow and you can potentially use it to get to venues but we would advise checking thoroughly in advance where you are going as there are a number of low level lines and if you get on the wrong one (or in the wrong direction) then you may find yourself in a very far out location.

Travelling in to the City from further out

If you are staying with friends, family or just got some cheap accommodation further out of the city then it is important to understand the easy transit routes in to the city centre.

For the South West of the city, including Paisley, East Kilbridge, Renfrew and Glasgow Airport then the usual route in to the city is to drive to Shields Road subway and then Park and Ride but Shields Road may be sufficiently near to Ibrox and the SECC that it is quite busy. There is a large car park there but if the volume of traffic is high then it can be slow in this area. Official advice is to use the Park and Ride services further out in Braehead and Silverburn. There are also a number of local bus services that travel via Govan bus station.

For the North West of the city the low level trains will take you in to Partick or to Queen Street or Glasgow Central where you can swap to the subway if you need to. Otherwise check to make sure you are on the South east low level line and just sit and wait for the train to take you to your venue.

For the North East and South East of the city you are already probably close enough  and best using the local bus services. The Subway may still feature for some non-games activity but you should not need to go in to the centre of the city to get to watch some world class sport.

Away from the Games

If you are in Glasgow for the games but want to experience some of the highlights that this wonderful city has to offer then the Subway is probably the best way of getting about. It goes in a circle so you literally cannot get lost and as well as your games ticket being valid for travel you can also get a very affordable day ticket for £4.

The West End around Hillead, Kelvinbridge and Kelvinhall has some of the best nightlife in the city with excellent and often quirky restaurants and bars. Buchannan Street and St Enoch are the main city centre terminuses for shopping, hotels and going out.

On the whole we think Glasgow transport and the Subway especially is all fairly easy to navigate. If you are using the low level trains then you do have to pay attention where you are going but as soon as you have a map and know what way is East and West then it should all just fit in to place.

We hope everyone has a fantastic experience at the games and look forward to welcoming all the people of the Commonwealth to our fine city. Have fun.


Jimmy Monteith
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Jimmy Monteith

Glasgow and SEO wideboy. So I'm told anyway. I love getting around this exciting and vibrant city. Been riding the rails since I was a child and know every stretch of the Clockwork Orange.
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