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New Tube for London trains capable of driverless operation 19/10/2014

New Tube for London (© TfL)

The Mayor and London Underground revealed this month the new designs for the ‘New Tube for London’, the next generation of Underground trains, which are to come in to service from the mid-2020s.

The trains are to serve London for more than 40 years and will be designed and built to be capable of fully automatic operation.

The train’s design will allow for air-cooling for the first time on deep-level sections of the Tube. It also features improved accessibility, with step free access from the platform as well as walk-through carriages and wider doors.

The New Tube will be introduced first on the Piccadilly line, followed by the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines.

Start with operator on board

When the new trains first enter service they will have an operator on board. Along with modernised signal systems operating alongside them, the trains will enable faster, more frequent and reliable services with fewer delays, as well as providing greater capacity on all four lines:

  • Central line by 25 per cent (the equivalent of up to 12,000 customers per hour);
  • Bakerloo line by 25 per cent (the equivalent of up to 8,000 customers per hour);
  • Waterloo & City line by 50 per cent (the equivalent of up to 9,000 customers per hour) ;and,
  • Piccadilly line by 60 per cent (the equivalent of up to 19,000 customers per hour).

Five manufacturers shortlisted

Earlier this year London Underground placed a notice seeking expressions of interest to build the new trains. It has now shortlisted five bidders: Alstom, Siemens, Hitachi, CAF and Bombardier.

The notice quoted a range of between £1.0 billion and £2.5 billion for 250 new trains.

The New Tube for London programme will see approximately 100 trains for the Piccadilly line, 100 trains for the Central line, 40 trains for the Bakerloo line and 10 trains for the Waterloo & City line.

Source: TfL press release