‘Driverless’ tube trains unveiled
Posted on 02 Nov 2014 and read 3798 times
At a special ceremony held earlier this month, London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled images of the next generation of London Underground trains.
The transport authority intends to run 250 ‘driverless’ trains on the Piccadilly, Central, Waterloo & City and Bakerloo lines from the mid-2020s. The images were designed by London firm Priestman Goode, which created the look of the Pendolino train.
The new trains will feature air conditioning, walk-through carriages and wider doors. London Underground said the trains’ interiors will “recreate the ambience of the living room, with new levels of comfort for seats and vestibules, pools of lights and electronic notice boards.”
A driver’s cab will be incorporated in the initial roll-out, but the train design makes it possible for these to be removed, creating London’s first driverless Tube train. Even then, each train will have a ‘captain’ in the carriages performing similar functions to those on the driverless DLR.
The trains will be in service for 40 years and will increase capacity on the Central Line by 25%, the Bakerloo Line by 25%, the Waterloo and City line by 50% and the Piccadilly Line by 60%.
Opening an exhibition called The New Tube for London at King’s Cross railway station (until 16 November), Mr Johnson said: “These innovative, eye-catching and sleek new trains will be vital for the continued modernisation of London Underground. They represent the best of British design and innovation, and they will help to keep London and its economy moving in the right direction.”
Train makers Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom and CAF are all expected to be bid for the contract, which will be awarded in 2016.