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Bombardier delivers last of 191 S-Stock Tube trains

Bombardier has finished producing the last of the 191 S-Stock trains ordered by London Underground (LU) as part of the UK’s largest rolling stock contract to date.

The new fleet for LU’s modernisation programme on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines consists of 1,395 vehicles: 58 eight-car S8 units for the Metropolitan line and 133 seven-car S7 units for the other three lines.

The companies celebrated the finished order last Friday at Bombardier’s Derby plant, during which LU’s managing director, Nick Brown, said: “Our new trains have proved an instant hit with our customers and it’s easy to see why.

“With air-conditioning, more space, improved accessibility and better customer information systems, they are a major part of the vital modernisation of the [four Tube lines]. LU’s successful relationship with Bombardier creates thousands of jobs in the UK and is providing superb new services for our customers.”

The S-Stock trains – designed to gradually replace existing fleets on the four lines, including the D-Stock currently being re-used by Vivarail – bring increased capacity to the Underground (25% more for the Circle line, for example) and enhanced accessibility and comfort.

The fleet was even voted one of the top 10 transport designs in the capital, despite running against well-established icons from more than a century ago.

As well as air-conditioning and more spacious, walk-through carriages, the new trains also provide “significant energy savings” from regenerative braking. They need less frequent maintenance (reducing ongoing costs), are more reliable and are averaging in excess of 60,000km between failures that affect the service.

Per Allmer, head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Bombardier, said: “With the successful completion of this new SSL (sub-surface lines) fleet, together with our previous build of the new Victoria Line trains, we have no delivered more than 1,700 vehicles to LU since 2009 and amassed over two million engineering hours’ experience.

“As the only supplier currently providing air-conditioned stock on the Tube, we’re keen to capitalise on this experience in the future.”

The last S-Stock train is expected to enter into service on the District line in 2016, four years after the first of the S7 stock began operating to Barking.

Bombardier was also the original contractor to resignal the four sub-surface lines, but when it became clear it could not deliver the contract, it was re-tendered and awarded to Thales instead.

Elsewhere on the Underground, 250 new trains will be rolled out on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines, under the New Tube for London programme, although the invitation to tender for these seems to have been delayed for a second time.  

In TfL’s latest budget, the mayor said preparation work will be underway for the Piccadilly trains contract in 2016-17. It also stated that work to deliver the New Tube for London programme will “increase significantly” then, including work beginning to upgrade infrastructure on the Piccadilly line to support the new power and signalling systems when introduced.

The budget for the New Tube upgrade will increase considerably from 2016-17 onwards – from £30m next year to £206m by 2018-19.


Andrew Gwilt   22/12/2015 at 12:57

As the 80th S7 Stock is now completed and is under going tests before being transferred to Upminster Depot to be in operation on the District Line. The last ever S7 train will mark the end of the D-78 stocks as the former London Underground stocks will be moved to the North of England to be converted into Class 230 DEMU D-Trains run by Vivarail who are the specialists in converting old tube stocks into British Rail DEMU trains which will replace the Class 142, Class 143 and Class 144 Pacer trains across the North of England, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, parts of East Midlands (Lincolnshire included), Liverpool and Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and parts of West Midlands and even the Class 230's to be operated in Southwest England and West of England on local rural lines in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, The Cotswolds and even to be used in Wales and some of the Class 230's could also be used on local rural lines in the East of England including Norwich-Sheringham/Cromer and Ipswich-Felixstowe lines in Norfolk and Suffolk and the Marks Tey-Sudbury branch line in Essex.

Malcolm   22/12/2015 at 13:22

Does this include the extra train 8-car train required for the Croxley/Watford Junction extension?

Roger   22/12/2015 at 14:30

No Malcolm, that's actually (numerically) Train 192, an "add-on". Train 191 marks completion of the main order. With Croxley now not set to open until 2020 & the train being completed at the back end of January 2016, Neasden should have a nice bit of spare capacity for a while.

Simon   23/12/2015 at 09:31

I doubt the north of England will see the D78s not at the present time given that it would not fit into the new rolling stock order for the new northern franchise, GBRF have yet to test one on the mainline as such but time will tell if any operator looks at getting of these units. I am still sceptical as to whether they will be good or not but given that they are restricted to 60mph only running I cannot see where on the network they will operate. Time will tell and my mind may change if I travel and see one for real which I have not yet nor likely too until one comes into service...

Robin Wickenden   23/12/2015 at 13:21

Well, the so-called Rail Technology Magazine isn't much good at technology, is it! S-stock and D-stock aren't tube (let alone Tube) trains, and the Metropolitan, District, Circle, and Hammersmith & City Lines, on which they run, aren't tube (or Tube) lines. Don't these dumb journalists ever travel by train and notice anything around them? The tube lines are the Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo & City Lines ONLY. They have special, small-sized trains, designed for their tube tunnels, in which S, D, and other sub-surface stock could not possibly fit. This is one of the most basic and obvious pieces of railway technology in Britain; why can't the media studies brigade grasp even this? On a similar note, a previous comment refers to former D-stock being converted for 'British Rail' use. British Rail has not existed for over 20 years!

RTM   23/12/2015 at 13:30

The Tube has been a common shorthand for the entire Underground network for decades, Robin, for both the deep and sub-surface lines. It may be time to just accept it. See here, for example: Which lines do you see mentioned?

Ian   30/12/2015 at 11:17

RTM - And TFL actually knows anything about railways? Just because that lot use the term does not make it correct.

Robin Wickenden   26/01/2016 at 01:03

No. The Underground has been confused with the tube for decades only by ignorant journalists and similar media groups (such as TfL's publicity department, who constantly stand between the truth and the public, and who operate the web site you mention), and those of the public who have been misled by them. No, I will not accept such incompetence, which is typical of the "why spoil a good story [or snappy headline or overrated "brand name"] for the sake of mere facts"mentality - kindly snap out of this sloppiness. We railway engineers (and I have been one for forty years, including over eight on the Underground) spend a lot of time getting things right - not just "about right" or "near enough" or what advertising types say, but exactly right. Why can't you?

RTM   26/01/2016 at 09:13

When it is helpful or necessary to make a distinction, we do so, with terms like SSR, deep tube lines, cut-and-cover, etc. Otherwise, in general stories that refer to the whole network, we use the same terms that everyone else uses (with a capital T as opposed to small t for the deep tube lines), for the sake of directness and simplicity. Should we stop calling it the Underground because most of it is not underground? Believe me when I say that it is not just TfL ‘publicity types’ who use Tube, informally, to mean the whole network – in interview after interview with people from all over the organisation, it’s incredibly common. I reject the accusation that this is ‘incompetence’ and present further evidence: From ‘Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube’, by Andrew Martin: “But ‘Tube’ is now used as a shorthand for the whole network, not least by London Underground itself, as in ‘Upgrading Your Tube’; and it is used to mean the whole network in the title of this book. It tends to be older Londoners who hold onto the distinction.” From the TfL style guide: “The Tube' (with a capital T) is acceptable colloquial shorthand for the London Underground” From ‘London Underground: A Cultural Geography’ by David Ashford: “In conventional usage the term ‘Tube’ can refer to any part of the London Underground.”

Bob   19/11/2016 at 08:39

Robin Wickenden needs to get out more

Shouvik Datta   11/12/2017 at 18:46

Congratulations to Bombardier and the Derby workforce. I've ridden on the trains and they are absolutely first-class.

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