Classic Subway transformation
For all those of use who are regular users of the subway it is sometimes difficult to remember that it is actually a very old subway system which originally opened in 1896. I am sure that the old Victorian system was radically different from the modern brightly coloured version that we use today. Seemingly it used a set of cables all powered from a steam plant between Shields Road and West Street. The doors on the old carriages also only opened on one side.
In 1977 work was undertaken to modernise the subway and it opened in it’s new technicolour guise in 1979.
There is a fantastic video on YouTube of what the subway was like in 1974
You can still see many of the original Victorian fittings and fixtures and many of the stations and areas look vaguely familiar. It is definitely worth a watch for a bit of nostalgia but I have to say I am glad we use the modern version. Quite possibly not as glad as the staff, check out the state of those old uniforms, it’s like an episode of Porridge! Here was me thinking the seventies was all bell bottom flares and glam rock!
I would hope that they have upgraded the phone system since then and perhaps changed their procedures in the case of breakdown. ‘hallo, can ye come gie us a push’. Like the wooden fittings on the trains though, very Orient Express. Bet that went down well in Kelvinbridge.
Seriously, I think we may have a look to see if we can get hold of a copy of the DVD, though for some strange reason it doesn’t seem to be stocked at Amazon. We would like to put together some kind of history of the underground at some stage so if you have any old photographs we would love to be able to post them on here so get in touch.
As someone who uses the subway daily I find it genuinely interesting to learn some of the history and see the photo’s as from what I have been told it was a very different place before it was modernised.