New Tube Designs Unveiled

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 42 months ago
New Tube Designs Unveiled

A new design for Tube trains has been announced by TfL today, with Boris Johnson describing the new designs as "innovative, eye-catching and sleek".

For those of us who care for functionality over vanity (i.e. those of us who actually use the Tube), what difference will these new Tubes make? Two key things are walk-through carriages and wider doors to enable people to get on and off quickly (and offer more capacity) and — sweet relief! — air-cooling on the deep-level lines.

In what could be a worrying move for drivers, the trains will be capable of "fully automatic operation", although we're told there will be an operator on board when they first come into use.

The plan is to build 250 of the new trains, at an estimated cost of £1 billion-£2.5 billion. They will be distributed among the Piccadilly (100 new trains) Central (100 new trains) Bakerloo (40 new trains) and Waterloo & City (10 new trains) lines. Capacity on these lines is expected to increase by between 25 per cent and 60 per cent, with 19,000 extra customers per hour on the Piccadilly line.

The new Tube trains will be introduced first on the Piccadilly line, followed by the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines. Don't get too excited yet though; the trains aren't expected to come into service until around 2025.

Want to get a closer look at the future? The New Tube for London exhibition is at King's Cross St Pancras Underground station, Northern ticket hall, from 9 October to 16 November, featuring images and this video of the new design.

Last Updated 09 October 2014


Certainly look good.
Wider doors a priority during peaks.
Also needed to accompany - more grab/holding-on facilities, for people at a full range of heights and luggage stroring capacity?


When will the Northern Line get some love!

When will they automate the stupid announcers telling us the bleeding obvious and getting more and more angry each day?


Would be interested to know the difference between "air cooled" and "air conditioned". Surely any tube with a window is air cooled?


Around 2025, so it likely be 2030, I won't be needing the tube by then and cost between 1 to 2.5 billion, is that with self cleaning seats? from the photos, I see recycle seat covers!!!

Richard Charles Morley

Let's hope the Bakerloo line trains will be heading south to Hayes!


They won't need much air con given that only ghosts are allowed to ride on the tube in 2025. And ghosts are notoriously chilly anyway.


It all looks very pretty - but I want to see a "real life" simulation on one of these promo videos. Hundreds of people, pushchairs/luggage/children in random places, and everyone in a rush....

Ahmed Abid

Will there be a feature to compress fat people as they come in, because I tell you they give us quite a squeez as they coming. and by the way, why 2025 you should make it in 2050 we have all the time in our lives whats the hurry?


Walk through carriages (like on the Hammersmith and City) are definitely good. Hope those are wider seats too as it does get annoying when people jab you in the side with their elbows (especially without even apologising!)


It's regrettable that the press release
doesn't include information on improvements relevant to wheelchair users, other people with moibility impairments and people travelling with children in push-chairs. Left out of the PR or forgotten completely?


The ring of light at the front looks undeniably cool. It's like an Apple product or something.


Please tell me the seats are not made from velvet again. It's so disgusting and probably more expensive to clean (if they do so) and maintain them!


Hardly a revolution is it... Just looks the same as what we have now only a bit newer... And yes, "air cooling" is just a"fan" - you see it written and think its "air conditioning".. But as someone else has pointed out... It isn't...

Rob Gray

The future is coming so quickly....


billions on essentially just a new trim? insane... think outside of the tube a little!

Ophelia Goldfarb

Looks good, but can't help to wonder: have the designers of this ever taken a ride on the London tube (or any other from around the globe for that matter)? It's going to be a a roller coaster riding those things in rush hour...and nothing in sight to grab on to except for that pile of people next to you.


Can't happen too soon, but really, what's new? Paris had walk-through trains ten years ago and we already have them on some lines. The double (safety) doors ditto - one could ask what's taken so long (and why they wasted so many millions on failed PPPs, instead of upgrades). Oooh - wifi! How exciting. I wonder if the noise level will still be at danger levels on every curve. And still no AC, just a bigger fan.


The Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Madrid, Milan, Paris, New york, TTC Toronto, Rome Metro all have air conditioning that works and this makes a huge difference to your journey. I have used all of the above cities metro's and LT UG is so backwards compared. The Mayor & LT need to study Madrid's network to see how well integrated and how smooth it operates. London's is not world class by a long way.

Michael LSTW

The main problem with new trains is the thickness of the walls and the replacement of seats with spaces that you can't stand in. The Victoria line trains were described as "spacious" because they were slightly wider on the outside, but the walls are so thick and full of clunky obstructions against tucking yourself into any standing space that there is less usable space inside than ever.


when the lines these trains will serve are automated, will there by an arrangement similar to that on the DLR where there is someone on-board who can drive the train if the automation fails, just so passengers aren't stuck in a tunnel?


Awesome! Stylish!