Lonely Planet Writer

Glasgow’s Subway to follow London's Tube with late-night services

Glasgow’s historic Subway could follow London’s Tube in offering late-night services. A £288 million upgrade has begun that will mean the service can be extended past midnight for the first time. Extended hours would be a major boost for Glasgow’s night time economy, which generates £2.16 billion for the city and supports 16,000 jobs, said The Scotsman.

St Enoch subway station, Glasgow.
St Enoch subway station, Glasgow. Image by Marian Craig / CC BY 2.0

The Subway, also known as the Clockwork Orange, is the third oldest underground railway in the world after London and Budapest. It opened in December 1896 and its trains are 36 years old. Constant repairs to the Victorian tunnels, track and drainage system are required to keep everything running. They’re carried out at night, which has made late opening impossible – services currently stop at 11.30pm six days a week and at 6pm on Sunday. The current overhaul, which will take five years and include new trains, will make repairs far easier.

“We will definitely be looking at running till the small hours,” senior director Charlie Hoskins told Scotland on Sunday: “The case for doing this will grow over the next four or five years as the night-time economy expands. Lighter maintenance can be done over shorter hours.”

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is well known for its nightlife. The city’s music scene has long been celebrated, and venues including the Barrowland, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and Nice ‘n’ Sleazy have been fixtures on the UK’s gig circuit for decades. Glasgow also has a strong clubbing culture. Popular places for a night out include the student and hipster-friendly West End and restaurant-packed Merchant City.