A factory in Yorkshire is to build the majority of the new tube trains for the Piccadilly line, the manufacturer, Siemens Mobility has confirmed.

New Piccadilly line train on test tracks in Germany (c) ianVisits

The factory, at Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire, had been expected to build about half of the new tube trains, with the rest assembled in Austria, but changes to when the trains will be delivered to London have allowed more of them to be built in the UK.

The first trains will be built at the Siemens factory in Austria, and then production will shift to the UK when the Yorkshire factory is ready to start work, which is expected to be this Spring.

The change in where the trains will be built is due to TfL’s financial situation and delays in delivering depot and infrastructure enabling works to store the new trains when delivered to London. Although the first of the new trains is still on target to come into service in 2025, delivery of each train afterwards could have arrived sooner than the depots would be ready.

Siemens and TfL have now agreed to re-phase the delivery of the later trains so that they don’t need to be stored elsewhere while the depot upgrades are still being carried out.

When announced last December, it was expected that the UK factory would see a modest increase in how many trains were built there, but Siemens Mobility has now confirmed that 80 percent of the new trains will be built in the UK.

Siemens Mobility is in the final stages of fitting out its new train factory in Goole, where it has been investing some £200 million in a new “rail village” to build the new Piccadilly line trains, and the expectation of replacement trains for the Bakerloo and Central lines in the future. The whole rail village will employ up to 700 people and create up to 1,700 jobs in the supply chain.

Aerial image of Goole Rail Village (c) Siemens Mobility

Stuart Harvey, TfL’s Chief Capital Officer, said: “Producing more Piccadilly line trains in Goole will support local supply chains, clearly demonstrating how investment in transport in London benefits the whole of the UK. We have ensured that this development will not impact when the first train arrives for testing in London later this year, ahead of entering service in 2025, nor the planned timetable uplift in 2027.”

“Subject to long-term certainty on Government funding, the factory in Goole is also expected to deliver a replacement fleet for the Bakerloo line, which at more than 50 years old is the oldest train in passenger service in the UK.”

The first Piccadilly line train has been delivered from Goole’s sister factory in Vienna, and has been undergoing testing at Siemens Mobility’s German test centre ahead of the first train arriving in London this summer. Transport for London (TfL) will then carry out further infrastructure testing and integration before the new trains start entering passenger service in London in 2025.

The Piccadilly line trains are based on Siemens Mobility’s Inspiro family of metro trains and offer passengers an improved customer experience with walk-through, air-conditioned carriages and improved accessibility. The new metro trains will increase capacity by around 10 percent and are also lighter than existing designs which will mean the trains are more energy efficient as well as providing a smoother ride for passengers.

In addition to the 10% increase in passenger capacity per train, the line will also see the number of trains increased from 24 to 27 trains per hour by May 2028.

The new trains are also air-conditioned, so they’ll be far more pleasant to ride in during the summer.

Rolling stock for the UK train market will be assembled at the factory, starting with new Piccadilly line Tube trains for TfL, and all future UK orders, including the Bakerloo line trains, subject to TfL securing further funding from Government to renew the life-expired fleet.


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  1. Julian Bassett says:

    None of the trains will be built in Yorkshire. The trains are German, with all the R&D, design,and engineering done there, along with most of the high value manufacturing. Having train assembly plant does not mean we are manufacturing trains again. Let’s not kid ourselves.

  2. Andrew says:

    Air cooled is ambiguous, as the stinking hot newer Routemaster buses were ‘air cooled’. I seem to recall that some Tube trains now have full air conditioning. I am not sure what air cooled is but it doesn’t sound like proper air conditioning, and these trains will perhaps be running in service for thirty odd years. It’s simply not good enough. I’d be relieve if you say I am wrong and air cooled means proper air conditioning.

    • ianVisits says:

      The full specifications of the air conditioning are laid out in the article written a few months ago when the trains were shown off in Germany.

  3. Shabbeeb says:

    To keep Tube trains cool, really cool you need to cover the exposed parts of the network. Solar Panels roofing perhaps? Hopefully the more efficient Motors mean less heat is generated

    • Keith says:

      A bigger part of the problem is that the tunnels themselves are warm, due to having warmed up the surrounding earth over the past centaury. The older deep-level tunnels simply didn’t take ventilation into consideration, and retro-fitting ventilation isn’t always easy or cheap.

  4. Jack Donsworth says:

    Just get them built, we’ve been waiting over 25 years since these new trains were announced. There’s a Railway Technology article from 2004 stating how the Piccadilly train upgrade project “should be completed by 2014”. It’s now a decade after even that deadline and we’re now “hoping to test in 2027”.

    I can never understand why everything TfL related takes such a nonsensically long time, the multi-decade delays must massively inflate costs too.

    • ChrisC says:

      “Just get them built” you say ignoring the fact that they are being built!

      These things take so long because of the incessant stop-start funding regimes imposed by the government who refuse to commit to long term capital allocations. Instead of saying you can have £10bn over ten years it’s £300m this year then £ 500m the next and so on and so on.

      TFL can’t negotiate good deals and timelines for delivery with suppliers under that sort regime. They both need stability.

    • Jack Donsworth says:

      ChrisC, the project was supposed to be at about the stage it is now around the time the current government took office (2010)!

      There’s so much complacency amongst TfL management leading to eye-watering delays and cost overruns on almost every project.

  5. SE23 says:

    Article says they’ll enter service next year. I don’t see “hoping to test in 2027” written anywhere.

    • Jack Donsworth says:

      I meant the frequency increase project these trains are part of won’t even begin testing until 2027 (over 15 years late), possibly for a 2028 rollout. Note also only the first few trains will be delivered in 2025.

  6. MilesT says:

    Given that final assembly is in the UK (so there is at least some jobs here), then confirming the funding the additional fleets (Bakerloo, Northerm, Central etc.) now to create a long term work stream would in effect be “levelling up”.

    And hopefully the plant will go on to do final assembly when other Siemens train fleets operating in the U come up for replacement.

    @Julian Bassett very little core industrial R&D design is performed in the UK (apart from software), why would trains be any different. Post industrial economy. The supply chain for trains/locos is very highly concentrated, with some major manufacturers effectively just doing the lower value framing and bodywork, and the mechanical components coming from a couple of globalised industry leaders (including European), with China likely trying to vertically integrate. Train maker A or B on the outside, equipment maker C on the inside.

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