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Transport in Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Here is a rough overview of the public transport scene in the city and vicinity of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. I was able to spend a couple days there back in March. Granted it's not a current view of what's on the street, but it should still be fairly representative.


As with most major cities and urban areas in the UK, major public transit bus routes are privately operated for profit by multiple bus operators. The big players in the Glasgow market are First Greater Glasgow and McGill's Buses.

First operates a slightly diverse fleet of ADL and Wrightbus products. The majority of the routes (from what I observed) were unbranded and simply operated with generic First liveried units. 9/9A, 500 Airport, and a few others were line branded and thus operated by assigned units to correspond to each route. 9/9A was predominantly Wrightbus Eclipse/Volvo chassis, 500 a slew of fresh Enviro 200MMC. Other common models in the fleet are the ADL Enviro 300/E30D, 200/E20D, Enviro400, Wrightbus Gemini, and Wrightbus StreetLite. Other older bodies such as Plaxton President, Marshall Capital, and Optare Solo were also spotted.

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McGill's has quite the varied fleet, due in large part to taking over Arriva operations in Glasgow a while back. Newer units include some lovely M-B Citaros, while a variety of older Pointer/DART SLF, Optare, Wright Eclipse/Volvo, and Scania units can be spotted  on their various services.

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There are also a number of other smaller operators which typically operate routes under contract for the SPT. These are routes that aren't feasible to run on a money making basis due to lower passenger volume, but still necessary to provide fair and equal access to different communities and locations. I didn't get a lot of photos of the different operators, but Avondale Coaches and Garelochead Coaches were a couple I managed to snap. Avondale runs a fleet of ex-London units bought from their various operators and left in the red scheme, while Garelochhead had a 2014 Optare Solo SR electric working on its assigned 100 shuttle:

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Stagecoach also had a small presence with a few commuter type routes operated by various chassis ADL 300 units, Enviro 400MMC, and Plaxton bodied coaches. I'm not very familiar with the Stagecoach operations around there, so some of these I noted as Stagecoach West Scotland may actually be a different Stagecoach operating unit. A photo of a commemorative liveried KC589 for the 85th Anniversary of Western SMT operations is also attached:

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While buses comprise the bulk of public transit operations in and around Glasgow, the one of a kind Glasgow Subway is also well worth a ride. Currently it is running with late 1970s built Metro-Cammell  cars, these were the replacements for the much older rolling stock than ran for many decades. (look up the subway on Youtube, some cool vids) Glasgow Subway is the third oldest subway system in the world. It consists of a basic ring around the central city area, with a track in each direction (clockwise and counter-clockwise). The tracks are narrow gauge and train cars are smaller, which adds to the uniqueness. Some of the station platforms are also pretty narrow!

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I hope you enjoyed this brief look at Glasgow transport operations. If anyone is interested I took a lot of photos, which can be seen via various sets organized in this collection on my Flickr:

Collection: Transport in Glasgow

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