Detailed Design of Piccadilly Tube Trains Revealed

Transport for London (TfL) and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the detailed design of the next generation of Tube trains for London’s Piccadilly line.

Siemens Mobility will start manufacturing the new rolling stock shortly. In total, there will be 94 new trains. These ‘Inspiro London’ trains will start carrying passengers on the line from 2025.

New train for the Piccadilly line, London Underground
New train for the Piccadilly line, London Underground

The trains currently serving the underground line date from the 1970s. Because of their age, they are becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain. Both the introduction of the new units and the withdrawal of the old units will be gradual. Overall, the frequency of services during peak times will increase from 24 to 27 trains per hour, starting in mid-2027. That equates to one train every 135 seconds during the busiest times.

Interior of the new Piccadilly line train
Interior of the new Piccadilly line train

In addition to being reliable and cheaper to maintain, the new trains will also feature wider doors and longer, walk-through, air-conditioned carriages to make journeys more comfortable for passengers. The design optimises the available space to increase capacity by 10 percent. The trains will also weigh substantially less, which means they will be more energy efficient and be less damaging to the tracks. Some of the weight savings comes from the trains’ articulated design, which allow them to have fewer bogies.

Interior of the new Inspiro London trains
Interior of the new Inspiro London trains

The new trains will consume 20 percent less energy than their predecessors. This is due in part to features such as regenerative braking and modern traction systems, LED lighting and improved energy management overall.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“These much-needed new trains will be a great step forward for our city, improving frequency, reliability and capacity on the Piccadilly line. The continued modernisation of the Tube – which has seen a transformation over the last two decades – is a key part of my Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more affordable, more accessible place. But we need investment to continue this work. I will keep lobbying the Government to deliver a long-term, viable funding model for TfL, which would enable us to carry out more upgrades to the network’s ageing infrastructure, boost our economy and deliver a green recovery for London and the wider country.”

50 percent of the new train fleet will be built in Goole, East Yorkshire.

Andy Lord, Managing Director, London Underground, said:

“The introduction of new, desperately-needed modern and reliable trains on the Piccadilly line, and the capacity they will provide, will be a boost for the capital. We’re pleased that our investment in new trains is helping the UK economy and assisting with the recovery from the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing them on the network in years to come. Sustained long-term investment would enable us to introduce more modern trains over time to replace other ageing fleets alongside new signalling, improving the journeys of millions more Tube customers and reducing the costs of running the Tube.”

Transport for London has ‘shovel-ready’ plans for new trains for the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines, which could be put into action should a long-term funding deal be reached with the government.

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