New trains? Oh TfL, you really shouldn’t have!
Actually, maybe they should have: the current lot date back to the 1970s and were last refurbished at the turn of the millennium.
But all our Christmases have come at once, because TfL have shelled out for a fleet of new trains to run on all the Deep Level Tube lines. They’re spending £1.5 billion for 94 new trains on the Piccadilly Line, to be joined in short order by 160 matching trains on the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City.
Yep, these are set to be the fanciest way to get from Bounds Green to Arnos Vale when they arrive. (Which won’t actually be until 2024, but we can dream until then.)
The headline news is that this lot are fully air-cooled – hopefully there’ll be no more melting in the summer heat on these bad boys. Other important improvements see these become walkthrough trains, and TfL have also splurged on LED screens, which will display routes and announce the next station. [See also: 7 places the Tube map completely lies to us]
It’s all part of TfL’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme, which will also see the network get modern signalling, and the continued rollout of the platform safety doors currently seen on the Jubilee line.
You’d better get used to these trains, because you’ll be seeing a lot of them over the next forty years. That’s how long they’ll be in service, meaning there’s little room for buyers remorse here. (Let’s hope they’re less stuffy in the summer than the New Bus for London.)
The Piccadilly line is just the first tube line to be blessed with new trains. Before long, you’ll see them on the Bakerloo, Waterloo & City, and Central lines. Air conditioning on the Central line! Did you ever think you’d live to see this day?
Transport nerds can find out more from the TfL website.