Posted 28th February 2014 | 7 Comments
TfL prepares for driverless tube with new trains order
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON has unveiled plans to buy 250 new tube trains for the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City Lines. They may be able to run without drivers -- although no decision has been made, with TfL saying only that the new trains would be 'capable of full automation'.
Some of the fleets which the new air-cooled fleet will replace go back to the 1970s, although the Central and W & C trains only date from the early 1990s.
TfL has dubbed its procurement plan as ‘New Tube for London’, and said that the new fleet would boost capacity by at least 25 per cent and as much as 60 per cent on the Piccadilly, which serves all five terminals at Heathrow Airport. The increased capacity will also be essential as the population of London continues to grow.
TfL's subsidiary London Underground Ltd was placing a notice today with the Official Journal of the European Union, seeking expressions of interest in building the new trains. A formal Invitation to Tender is expected in early 2015.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “This vital modernisation of our trains and signalling will ensure an even more comfortable, frequent and reliable service for hardworking commuters and visitors to the capital. Much like our Victorian forebears, we will make what was once thought impossible possible when 250 brand-new, air-cooled, walk-through trains are introduced to the network. This is a hugely important step in the continued evolution of our world-famous Tube and one that will see an iconic new fleet of trains to keep London and its economy moving.”
LUL managing director Mike Brown added: "New walk-through, air-cooled trains are already running on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines and will soon be on the District Line too.
“However, we can’t stand still and must continue to invest to meet the needs of London’s rapidly growing population. Alongside modern signalling, these new trains will modernise and drastically improve capacity, allowing us to run more frequent and reliable trains, faster and closer together.
“Working with the rail industry, we want the New Tube for London to encompass the very latest technology as well as respecting our design heritage."
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