New Piccadilly line train shell, via TfL

Piccadilly line upgrade update for new service fleet

Transport for London has provided an update for the vital Piccadilly line upgrade, with plans for new trains to be introduced from the start of 2025, incorporating walk-through, air-conditioned carriages, replacing the current fleet that has served the people of London since the 1970’s.

The implementation of these new trains will generate a major boost to line capacity by up to 10%, whilst also being notably more energy efficient due to the trains being significantly lighter than existing designs, which will improve journey speeds whilst also reducing the overall damages to the track as the rolling stock traverses the network.

The innovations and weight-loss of the new fleet has been achieved through the use of an articulated design, meaning that fewer bogies are required per train, providing additional benefits such as smoother and quieter rides.

Whilst performance enhancements are key benefits to the fleet, the trains have been designed with a core focus around sustainability, being 95% recoverable whilst also offering a regenerative braking capability, cutting-edge traction systems, LED lighting throughout and advanced energy management. These collective components will reduce energy consumption by 20%, when compared to the existing fleet.

The passenger experience when travelling across the line will be greatly enhanced, not just from the improved speed and line capacity, but also with the new accessibility bolstering features, such as multi-purpose areas and facilities for wheelchairs, along with real-time customer information systems and improved security features.

The introduction of the new fleet will see the existing trains gradually withdrawn from passenger service, whilst the frequency of trains in peak hours will concurrently rise from 24 to 27 per hour from mid-2027.

Stuart Harvey, TfL’s Chief Capital Officer, said:

“The manufacturing of a new fleet of trains for the Piccadilly line is well underway, half of which will be built in Goole, East Yorkshire and are planned to serve London from 2025. The first train remains on track to be ready to start testing from summer 2023. The trains will be fully accessible and will significantly improve the experience of millions of customers with wider doors and walk-through, air-conditioned carriages for more comfortable journeys.

“While TfL is hoping to follow the introduction of new trains on the Piccadilly line with new signalling, and then to upgrade the rest of the Deep Tube lines, such large-scale investment will not be possible without continued capital investment from the Government from April 2024. TfL remains fully committed to upgrading the remaining Deep Tube lines - the Central, Bakerloo, and Waterloo & City lines – and will continue to work with the Government to make the case for long term investment in London to make it an even better, greener, safer and more successful place for everyone.”

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