Urban Transport

London Underground set for fast, new driverless trains

London Underground set for fas...
The new trains feature wider doors and walk-through carriages
The new trains feature wider doors and walk-through carriages
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The Mayor and London Underground have unveiled the design of New Tube for London trains
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The Mayor and London Underground have unveiled the design of New Tube for London trains
Transport for London (TfL) worked with PriestmanGoode on the new design
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Transport for London (TfL) worked with PriestmanGoode on the new design
The new trains feature wider doors and walk-through carriages
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The new trains feature wider doors and walk-through carriages
Once in place, the new trains will result in a mean increase of 12,000 customers per hour
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Once in place, the new trains will result in a mean increase of 12,000 customers per hour
The new design makes the service more accessible by removing the need to step up into carriages
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The new design makes the service more accessible by removing the need to step up into carriages
The new trains have an estimated 40 year life span
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The new trains have an estimated 40 year life span
Demand on key routes of the service is expected to increase by as much as 20 percent by 2020
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Demand on key routes of the service is expected to increase by as much as 20 percent by 2020
The design makes big changes to the service, adding air cooling for the first time on deep-level stretches of the Tube
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The design makes big changes to the service, adding air cooling for the first time on deep-level stretches of the Tube

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today revealed the designs for the New Tube for London – a fleet of 250 trains set to go into operation in the mid-2020s. The design, which pays homage to the heritage of the Underground, brings significant improvements to the service, with the trains capable of fully automatic operation.

Like many urban transport services, parts of the London Underground are in need of some serious attention, with the level of demand on key routes, such as the Piccadilly line, expected to increase by as much as 20 percent by 2020.

The New Tube services aim to tackle the city’s rising population by not only increasing capacity, but also improving speed and frequency of trains. Transport for London (TfL) worked with PriestmanGoode on the new design, which is set to make significant improvements to the service while retaining the recognizable look of London Underground transportation.

The Mayor and London Underground have unveiled the design of New Tube for London trains
The Mayor and London Underground have unveiled the design of New Tube for London trains

The design makes big changes to the service, adding air cooling for the first time on deep-level stretches of the Tube. There are also wider doors, walk-through carriages, built-in live information screens and improved accessibility by means of step-free access. Aesthetically, the trains are not a million miles from those used on the London Underground today, but the new designs look more modern, spacious and open than the existing carriages.

Once in place, the new trains will up capacity on the Central and Bakerloo lines by 25 percent, the Waterloo & City line by 50 percent and the Piccadilly line by a full 60 percent, accounting for an mean increase of 12,000 customers per hour. While initially, they will have operators on board, they’re designed to run automatically – something that’s expected to improve the reliability and longevity of the service.

"The New Tube marks a significant step forward in giving Londoners and visitors the accessible and modern transport service that they expect and deserve," said Mayor Johnson.

The new design makes the service more accessible by removing the need to step up into carriages
The new design makes the service more accessible by removing the need to step up into carriages

The overall cost of the project is estimated between £1 billion and £2.5 billion (around US$1.6 billion - $4 billion), with companies such as Siemens, Hitachi and Bombardier competing for the contract, scheduled to be awarded in 2016. The first new carriages are expected to roll onto the the Piccadilly line in 2022. They have an estimated 40 year life span.

If you’re interested in getting a closer look at the New Tube for London, the designs are on show at the city’s King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station until November 16. Alternatively, you can check out the video below for a fly-through of the new design.

Sources: Transport for London, PriestmanGoode

The New Tube for London

4 comments
hdm
thanks goodness they are paying homage, lord knows homage needs to get paid.
Mel Tisdale
The question is not when will sea-level rise physically put a stop to all these games played in and about London at tax-payers' expense, but when will the businesses, without which London is as naught, realise that their investment in commercial building space is going to lose all its value sooner or later? Who is going to keep hold of a property that is destined for scrap? As with all financial bubbles, when the tide turns - no pun intended - the exodus with become a stampede. Let's consider: "Introduction in the next decade and forty years of operation." Could be a close call, if they are lucky.
Stuart Wilshaw
To address the matter of new trains for TFL rather than side issues. These are the obvious next step in 'tube' development; the Docklands Light Railway system is already driver-less so extending this to the 'Underground' is logical. Having had experience of London Underground from the 1940s onwards I hope they address the problems of passenger safety / security properly as at the moment on some lines at some times of the day cattle trucks would be a better option than decent carriages like these.
wiarus2000
So London will be about 40 years behind because in 1986 Vancouver, Canada opened it's driverless subway system and it is still going strong. So many years without drivers and accidents