TfL has announced that it’s awarding Siemens a contract of around £1.5bn to design and build 94 new generation tube trains for use on the Piccadilly line.

More than 700,000 customers use the Piccadilly line every day. However, the combination of limited fleet size and old signalling technology has restricted TfL’s ability to increase capacity across the line for many decades.

This order – the first under the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme – will mean the replacement of the entire 1970s Piccadilly line fleet.

From 2023, 94 new trains will be delivered on the Piccadilly line enabling up to 27 trains-per-hour (tph) to operate at peak times by the end of 2026 (up from the current service level of 24 tph). This is a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times.

Combined with a signalling upgrade and the purchase of additional trains, peak period capacity on the busiest central sections of the Piccadilly line will increase by more than half by the end of the 2020s and will mean an additional 21,000 customers will be able to board trains every hour during peak times.

The Deep Tube Upgrade Programme aims to replace the life-expired rolling stock, signalling and control systems across the four lines. In total, the upgrade programme will deliver a 36 per cent increase in capacity across the four lines by 2035.

The new trains will have a host of new design features that will significantly increase customer comfort. Each new train will be six metres longer than the existing Piccadilly line trains. They will include walk-through, fully air conditioned carriages and improved accessibility, and will be specially designed to optimise the space constraints in the narrow Deep Tube tunnels.

While this order is for an initial 94 trains, the contract will be awarded on the expectation of a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines. Creating a single train design will allow TfL to maximise cost savings through greater standardisation of train operations, staff training, equipment, spares and maintenance.

The trains will be built at Siemens’ new factory in Goole, East Yorkshire.

The factory would employ up to 700 people in engineering and manufacturing roles.

A separate procurement process for the signalling and train control systems for the Deep Tube lines is well underway with a view to awarding this contract by mid-2020.

The New Tube for London programme will eventually see approximately:

  • 100 trains for the Piccadilly line
  • 100 trains for the Central line
  • 40 trains for the Bakerloo line
  • 10 trains for the Waterloo & City line

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26 comments on “London Underground places £1.5 billion order for new Piccadilly line tube trains
  1. Geoffrey Brock says:

    Good news about the air-con. I thought that was very difficult to achieve in deep tube lines? I wonder how they are doing it.

  2. Brad says:

    Condenser and a big tank? Dump the water as soon as it gets above ground?

    • Tom Hawtin says:

      Cool air by evaporating water and then condensing it? That doesn’t sound efficient.

      There are projections of increased platform temperature despite extension of station cooling. Some energy/heat can be saved with higher track voltages (750V vs 630V) and regenerative braking.

  3. Rob says:

    “The trains will be built at Siemens’ new factory in Goole, East Yorkshire.”

    Hmmm. Perhaps final assembly. The trains will be designed and developed in Germany, the first trains will probably be built there.

    It’s great that some assembly and commissioning will happen in the UK I guess.

    • Harry Kobeans says:

      As I understand it Rob, these trains will be built in Goole with minimal German input. Siemens is serious about investing in the U.K. There’s a good chance that they will win the signalling and train control contracts as well.

  4. David Thorn says:

    What’s the Waterloo and City Line going to do with 10 trains?

  5. Mr Morgan says:

    “This is a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times.”

    So when we are stuck at Finsbury Park, we will still hear and see 36 trains per hour come and go on the Victoria Line?

    Why only 27 trains per hour on the Picadilly Line?

    • Melvyn says:

      The press release on TFL site mentions that further trains for the Piccadilly Line are planned to increase the frequency to a simmer level as on Victoria Line –

      From TFL news –

      On completion of line-wide re-signalling and with the purchase of seven additional trains (up to a total of 101 trains), the service levels on the Piccadilly line will be progressively increased to 33 tph

    • Mr Morgan says:

      All I can say there is that is is about time! Thanks or the update.

    • Julian B says:

      Good job you don’t live up north. 2 trains an hour in most places, IF YOURE LUCKY. Aye, we don’t have it tough.

  6. Melvyn says:

    Finally we get announcement of new trains for Piccadilly Line around a decade later than would have been the case had Ken Livingstone remained Mayor in 2008 !

    This announcement suggest that Siemens will in fact build all the deep level rains surely doing this will prolong the construction of these trains than had production been split between say two builders basically building the same trains .

    So what will the Waterloo and City line do with 10 trains given its a simple shuttle and never got a proposed station at Blackfriars which would give interchange with Thameslink and the real pity is it doesn’t serve Liverpool Street Station and it’s shallow depth no doubt means it never will !

    The Line most desperate for new trains is the Bakerloo Line which has the oldest trains on the network but also has some awkward stations as does the Central Line at Bank which are very curvy thus producing large platform train gaps making accessiblity dangerous.

  7. J P says:

    Agree with Rob. It’s taken a while and looks like it will also take some considerable time to complete. Let me check, it’s 2018, the full benefit comes with completion in 2035 and my 4yr old will be celebrating his 21st. Hmm.

    If it really is the case that this announcement means Siemens builds all four fleets then we have to hope that the 700 people in Goole are more than assemblers.

    Hey perhaps leaving the EU will make it cheaper/easier to have parts made all across the UK instead of Germany !

  8. Andrew Gwilt says:

    At the moment. Bombardier are continuing on manufacturing the Elizabeth Line “TfL Rail” Class 345’s and London Overground Class 710’s. As the Class 710’s are due to enter service from August/September this year.

    • Andrew Gwilt says:

      But Bombardier could be favourites to build new tube stocks for the Bakerloo Line, Waterloo & City Line or Central Line. Whilst the other rail manufacturers such as:

      CAF
      Hitachi
      Talgo
      Stadler

      That could also plan to build new tube stocks for the Bakerloo Line, Central Line and Waterloo & City Line.

    • Melvyn says:

      It looks like this Contract has been let on the understanding that all the trains for these lines will be built by a single manufacturer. See extract from TFL notice –

      While this order is for an initial 94 trains, the contract will be awarded on the expectation of a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines.

      So it looks like Siemens will build all the trains .

    • Andrew Gwilt says:

      Well I know that Bombardier are continuing on manufacturing 70 Class 345’s for the Elizabeth Line and 45 Class 710’s for London Overground with extra trains to be built for London Overground.

  9. RayL says:

    Will these Siemens underground trains produce the same ‘whee-whee-whee-whee’ sound that is such an annoying feature of Siemens’ Thameslink trains?

  10. Melvyn says:

    It seems this announcement hasn’t gone down well with the MP for Sedgefield who will be writing to London Mayor Khan as to why this order went to a company yet to build its factory instead of Hitachi which already has one . See –

    http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/16294529.Newton_Aycliffe_train_builder_Hitachi_loses_out___1_5bn_deal/?ref=rss

    It’s worth remembering that because Newton Aycliffe was busy building or more accurately assembling trains some of the orders place for new trains are being built at their plant at Pistoria Italy .

    A rerun of Thameslink order which went to Siemens instead of Bombardier but those trains were built in Germany while this order will be manufactured in Google, Yorkshire!

  11. Richard says:

    How will the trains be 6m longer – will they extend into the tunnels, or is it just because they are walk through, so gain more usable space?

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