New London Underground trains presented for Piccadilly line
Transport for London (TfL) and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the design of the new generation Tube trains for the Piccadilly line last week. 94 of these new trains will soon be in production to replace the current 1970s fleet. They will enter service on the London Underground’s (LU’s) line from 2025. Built in an energy-efficient way, the trains are said to consume 20 percent less energy than the existing fleet.
As the new trains are introduced to the Piccadilly line, the current fleet will be gradually withdrawn from passenger service and the frequency of trains in peak hours will rise from 24 to 27 trains per hour from mid-2027. This means a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times and represents a 23 percent increase in peak service capacity.
“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”, said Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground. Opened in 1863, the London Underground – or just ‘Tube’ – is the oldest and one of the busiest metro systems in the world. Around 5 million passengers a day use the 11 metro lines, 700,000 of which take a train on the Piccadilly line.
The trains are part of the Siemens Mobility’s Inspiro line, and will have nine cars. Thanks to reducing the number of bogies (the structures containing the wheels, motors and suspension to support and power the train) required per train, they have 10 percent more capacity. This also reduces track damage and has the additional benefit of a smoother and quieter ride for passengers.
The new trains feature regenerative braking capability and cutting-edge traction systems using low-loss permanent magnet motors and auxiliary electric systems that feature silicon carbide technology, as well as Lithium Ion batteries. When combined with LED lighting and advanced energy management, the overall energy consumption is reduced by 20 percent compared with the existing fleet. The new trains will also emit less heat into the tunnels than current rolling stock.
“These much-needed new trains will be a great step forward for our city, improving frequency, reliability and capacity on the Piccadilly line, said Sadiq Khan, mhe mayor of London. “The continued modernisation of the Tube – which has seen a transformation over the last two decades – is a key part of the Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more affordable, more accessible place.”
The mayor also says that investments are needed 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.”
William Wilson, CEO of Siemens Mobility Limited, added: “The new trains are lighter, more environmentally-friendly and future-proofed for a long life. But the benefits are not just confined to London. Building the new trains creates new UK jobs and extensive supply chain opportunities. A great example of levelling up in action.”
Made in the UK
Fifty per cent of the new train fleet will be built in Goole, East Yorkshire, employing up to 700 people in engineering and manufacturing roles, 250 in the construction phase and 1,700 in the broader supply chain. Last month Siemens Mobility announced 50 million pounds (58 million euros)of related contracts for UK suppliers, including a number for train components. These included almost 6 million pounds (7 million euros) in contracts for Yorkshire-based LPA Lighting to provide the interior train lighting, and Midlands-based suppliers Baker Bellfield to supply cab partition wall and I M Kelly for driver seats and footrests.
The order for the new Piccadilly line trains, together with a further investment in signalling which has not yet been funded, would support 25,000 new jobs in the capital, as well as supporting the next generation of transport workers through apprenticeship places created both by Siemens Mobility, TfL and the wider supply chain.