New trains on the way, despite TfL cash crisis


Transport for London (TfL) and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the detailed design of the new trains for the Piccadilly Line, which they said will soon be in production.

The capital’s transport authority said trains in the existing 1970s fleet line have become increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain and will be 50 years old by the time they are replaced.


It pointed out that it was continuing to replace these assets despite ‘the devastating impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on its finances’.

The new, Inspiro London trains will come into service from 2025, ‘future-proofed to ensure they are suitable for many years to come,’ TfL said.

As the new trains are introduced, the current fleet will gradually be withdrawn from service.

The frequency of trains in peak hours will rise from 24 to 27 trains per hour – one train every 135 seconds – from mid-2027.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: 'These much-needed new trains will be a great step forward for our city, improving frequency, reliability and capacity on the Piccadilly line.

'The continued modernisation of the Tube - which has seen a transformation over the last two decades - is a key part of my Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more affordable, more accessible place. But we need investment to continue this work.’

The train design has been developed with regular feedback from TfL's Independent Disability Advisory Group and the TfL Accessibility Forum.

The air-conditioned trains are longer and optimise space to provide 10% more capacity and are fully walk-through, improving accessibility and ensuring customers can move easily to quieter areas of the train.

They are also lighter than existing designs, increasing energy efficiency and reducing damage to tracks. TfL said this is achieved by using an innovative articulated design, meaning fewer bogies (the structures containing the wheels, motors and suspension to support and power the train) are required per full-length train. This also provides a smoother ride.

The new trains are 95% recoverable, and offer regenerative braking capability and advanced traction systems, as well as LED lighting throughout and advanced energy management. This means energy consumption is reduced by 20% compared with the existing fleet.

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