Join us to chat about all things related to London transport on our Facebook group, Londonist Roundel Ramblings — everyone welcome.
New state-of-the-art trains will be zooming along Piccadilly Line in just a few short years, and now we know what they'll look like.
This week, Transport for London and Siemens Mobility revealed detailed designs for the 94 new trains that will replace the current 1970s-built fleet. Each 'Inspiro London' train will boast walk-through carriages, air-conditioning and — crucially — 10% more capacity than their predecessors.
Longer carriages will give passengers extra room, with wider doors and the ability to freely move up and down the train improving accessibility and comfort.
A glimpse of the new carriage interiors also reveals a possible new moquette pattern — though, to be honest, anything would be an improvement on the retro monstrosity currently adorning the line.
More significant are the new design's sustainability credentials. The new trains will be significantly lighter than the current stock, reducing damage to the tracks and increasing energy efficiency. Couple that with new LED lighting and cutting-edge traction systems, and you've got a 20% reduction in energy consumption.
Production on the new fleet is imminent, with the first 'Inspiro London' trains expected to hit the tracks in 2025. These will gradually replace the old fleet of trains, with the frequency of service rising from 24 to 27 trains per hour during peak times by 2027.
The announcement comes amid tough financial times for TfL; the coronavirus pandemic led to a drastic fall in its fares income. But the Managing Director of London Underground insists that improvements to the line will assist the capital's post-COVID recovery.
"The introduction of new, desperately-needed modern and reliable trains on the Piccadilly line, and the capacity they will provide, will be a boost for the capital", Andy Lord said.
Together with a yet-to-be-funded investment in signalling, the Piccadilly Line train upgrade will support 25,000 new jobs in the capital.