First Siemens-built Piccadilly line train goes through testing

Metro testing Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility is currently conducting testing on the upcoming Piccadilly line trains, employing both the test track and a climate chamber in Germany and Austria. These new trains are slated to commence passenger service in London from 2025, marking the replacement of the current fleet from the 1970s. The Piccadilly line, integral to the London Underground with a ridership share exceeding 10 per cent, serves key destinations including Heathrow Airport, the West End, and St Pancras International.

In Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany, the initial test train specifically designed for Transport for London’s (TfL) Piccadilly line is undergoing dynamic trials on a dedicated test track. These trials aim to showcase the train’s acceleration and braking capabilities, as well as undergo assessments for noise and vibration. Intensive testing is underway in preparation for the inaugural train’s arrival in London next summer. The subsequent phases involve further testing and integration before the new trains are introduced for service in London in 2025.

To ensure the resilience of the Piccadilly line trains in the face of extreme weather conditions, a three-car formation of carriages has undergone testing in a specialised climate chamber. The tests were designed to assess the effects of extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -15°C to 40°C, a solar load of 600W/m2, exposure to ice, and high wind speeds of up to 100 km/h. Monitors were strategically placed to comprehend the passenger experience, measuring humidity and temperatures within the carriages.

New metro trains

Siemens Mobility’s upcoming Piccadilly line trains, rooted in the Inspiro family of metro trains, promise passengers an enhanced travel experience. Featuring walk-through, air-conditioned carriages, and improved accessibility, these new metro trains are expected to augment capacity by approximately 10 per cent. Notably, they are also lighter than their predecessors, ensuring increased energy efficiency and delivering a smoother ride for commuters. Additionally, all trains in this fleet will be equipped with CCTV in the carriages.

Siemens Mobility is actively involved in the construction of 94 Piccadilly line trains for Transport for London (TfL). Nearly half of these trains are set to be assembled at the newly established train manufacturing facility in Goole, located in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Work at this UK-based site is scheduled to commence next year. The development of the rail village associated with this project is receiving a substantial investment of up to 200 million pounds (229 million euros approximately).

Siemens Mobility emphasises the crucial need for long-term capital investment from the government to sustain such infrastructure improvements. Advocating for ongoing enhancements, the company aims to replicate the success of the Piccadilly line on the Bakerloo line. This involves replacing the current 51-year-old trains and continuing the modernization of fleets and signalling systems to ensure safety and reliability. However, Siemens Mobility underscores that these crucial improvements hinge on continued capital investment from the government, with expectations of support from April 2024. Subject to funding from TfL, Siemens Mobility is also positioned to manufacture new trains for the Bakerloo line at the Goole facility.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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