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