As part of the preparations for the new Piccadilly line trains due to start carrying passengers from 2025, several tube train depots need to be upgraded to handle the new trains.

The introduction of the new fleet of trains requires changes to the maintenance procedures and facilities at the two sites of Cockfosters and Northfields depots, together with changes to several stabling berths including the expansion of stabling at South Harrow sidings.

The largest amount of work is needed at Cockfosters, which requires the demolition of the existing depot and cleaning shed, and train wash, and then the construction of a new combined maintenance and cleaning shed, train wash, wheel lathe, new internal access road, car parking, and associated works.

A planning application for the depot works was filed with Enfield Council last week.

Existing site layout – planning document

Proposed site layout – planning document

The depot sheds being demolished were designed by the Charles Holden Architectural Practice, but have been assessed as having low historic value, being described as “utilitarian with low architectural or historic interest”.

As the depot is still serving the existing trains, it needs to be kept in action during the works, so the plans are to build the new buildings, then demolish the old, before then realigning the tracks for the new trains. The depot sits just in front of Cockfosters station, but there is a separate railway that runs around the side of the depot, so there’s unlikely to be any need to close the station for any reason during the depot works.

Works to build the maintenance and cleaning shed are expected to start in early 2022 and last around 28 months

Elsewhere, at South Harrow, work is already underway to build 6 longer stabling berths. At the moment, trains can only leave the Harrow depot heading northwards, so the works will also add a new southern connection onto the Piccadilly line. Work to upgrade Northfields Depot with a new stabling shed and additional stabling berths is expected to start later this year.


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  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    Do you have a link to a high-res version of the images in this article please Ian?

  2. Thomas Crame says:

    South Harrow sidings will not have a connection to the southern end, there will only be the one connection as today.

    The existing signalling cannot be modified to provide a southern exit – it can only just be modified to provide the extra siding space.

    • Yunus Patel says:

      Is the Picc Mainline Signalling expected to be upgraded, or will the new trains only be pre-installed with the existing legacy system.

  3. Simon Stanley says:

    There were some 1983 stock trains that were abandoned at South Harrow sidings and left to rot and unable to be moved under their own power.

    The carriagesy were craned out before the night tube opened as South Harrow was going to be used as a siding for this

  4. Robert Kirchner says:

    The removal of the 1983 tube stock from South Harrow sidings was nothing to do with the introduction of the Night Tube on the Piccadily Line. A number of 1983 tube stock trains were planned to have converted to provide extra stock for the Piccadily line many years before the Night Tube was thought of.

  5. John Manning. says:

    My lovely old depot . Started there in July 1969 trainee carriage examiner great times and a great team of people i was lucky to work with.

  6. Rob says:

    Can someone please explain what the ‘Winterisation Are’ is?

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