Piccadilly Line's 40 Year-old Fleet of Trains to Be Scrapped

And replaced by new more frequent air-conditioned 'Inspiro' trains by 2023

Possible new Piccadilly line train design from 2014

Transport for London (TfL) has announced it is awarding Siemens Mobility Limited the contract, worth around £1.5 billion to design and manufacture 94 new Deep Tube trains.

TfL says more than 700,000 customers use the Piccadilly line every day. However, the combination of limited fleet size and old signalling technology has restricted its 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 Piccadilly line fleet, dating back to the 1970s.

From 2023, 94 new state-of-the-art Inspiro trains will be delivered on the Piccadilly line, enabling up to 27 trains-per-hour, or tph to operate at peak times by the end of 2026 (up from the current service level of 24 tph). This means 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 four Deep Tube lines - Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo and Waterlook & City - make up a third of the Underground network, carrying around two million passengers per day on key corridors linking the City, the West End, King's Cross and Heathrow Airport.

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% increase in capacity across the four lines by 2035.

The existing Piccadilly line trains were introduced in 1975, which means these trains are now one of the oldest train fleets in passenger service in the UK, with a design life of 40 years.

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.

Customers will also benefit from in-train information systems helping them to plan their onward journey more easily.

Siemens Mobility Limited is aiming to manufacture the trains at new factory in East Yorkshire which would employ up to 700 people. Hundreds of extra jobs could also be created within the supply chain.

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

Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: "Today's announcement of our intention to award the contract to design and build a new generation Tube train is a huge milestone for London Underground.

"We are delivering the biggest investment programme in our history to continue to improve customers' journeys and support London's population and employment growth.

"It also demonstrates once again that investment in London creates jobs and apprenticeship opportunities right across the country.

"These trains will transform the journeys of millions of our customers, and provide faster, more frequent and more reliable trains for decades to come."

June 20, 2018