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Published on Apr 22, 2010
Originally built for the Glasgow District Subway Company, the railway first opened in 1896 as a cable-hauled system. Propulsion was provided by stationary steam engines and the railway was hailed as the first of its type in the world. The Subway is generally recognised as the world's third underground railway, after London and Budapest. In 1923 the Subway passed into the hands of Glasgow Corporation Transport Department, and in the following decade the railway was converted to electric traction, introducing a third 'live' rail for the purpose.
The railway ran with little further change until 1977, when the new operators, Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive, closed it for major modernisation investment. The railway in its present form reopened for operation on 16 April 1980.
Now part of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, the railway is one of the very few railways in UK remaining in public ownership and 'vertically integrated', where SPT's responsibility covers all aspects of operation and infrastructure