Glasgow Subway’s Magnetic Charm | EMF Test

A generally safe, decent subway system makes for a decent city – and this is certainly true in the case of Glasgow.

I’ve lived or otherwise spent time across many years in several UK and mainland European cities boasting subway systems – Glasgow, Prague, Paris, Newcastle and London being the ones I can remember as I write this.

Glasgow’s subway system is compact, consisting of a circle with an outer and inner circle covering 15 stops.

If you want to see a decent bit of footie, get off at Ibrox station on a match day (Celtic fans will of course disagree!); for art and culture it’s Kelvinhall then a short stroll to the Kelvin Grove  Art Gallery & Museum; “high street” shopping is served by St. Enoch, Buchanan Street and Cowcaddens; and there’s a lot more to see in-between.

EMF test

Sat in an empty carriage from Ibrox to St. Enoch earlier today, I used the Trifield meter to take measurements from my seat. They read as follows:

  • RF radiation – 0mW/m2 (though that reading would doubtless have fluctuated had there been passengers with mobile devices in the carriage);
  • AC electrical field – 0V/m;
  • AC magnetic field – Average peak readings of 4.4mG with spikes over 16mG each time the train accelerated to leave a station – this is very high but short-lived.

The table reproduced further below, courtesy of the US Environmental Protection Agency, recommends safe exposure levels to the magnetic spectrum come in at between 0.5 and 2.5mG.

So it seems traveling on Glasgow’s subway system may well cause problems for those of us who are particularly sensitive to electro-magnetic fields. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue and stress.

However, all of the stations on the Glasgow network are only a few moments apart from each other – and going full-circle takes no more than 24 minutes in total.

If anything, the loudness of the wheels on the track and sometimes the brakes will be what people notice most.