Transport for London (TfL) confirmed on Friday (15 June) its intention to award Siemens Mobility Limited a contract of around £1.5bn to design and build 94 new generation Tube trains that will transform the experience of millions of Piccadilly line customers.
More than 700,000 customers use the Piccadilly line every day. However, the combination of limited fleet size and old signalling technology has restricted TfL’s ability to increase capacity across the line for many decades.
This long-term sustainable investment will support London’s growing population which is set to increase to 10.8 million by 2041, supporting new jobs, homes and growth, benefiting the whole UK economy.
Twenty-two UK suppliers have been identified in the bid to potentially work with Siemens Mobility Limited on the build of the trains. In addition, at least 50 new apprentice and graduate positions could be created.
As announced earlier this year, the award of this contract is a significant step allowing Siemens Mobility Limited to progress its plan to build a new factory in Goole, East Yorkshire, to manufacture and commission trains.
The Siemens Mobility factory would employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus up to an additional 250 people during the construction phase of the factory.
1,700 jobs could be created
As a result, around 1,700 indirect jobs would be created throughout the UK supply chain. After completion, TfL will work with Siemens Mobility Limited to maximise the number of Piccadilly line trains being built in this facility.
This order – the first under the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme – will mean the replacement of the entire 1970s Piccadilly line fleet.
From 2023, 94 new Inspiro trains will be delivered on the Piccadilly line enabling up to 27 trains-per-hour (tph) to operate at peak times by the end of 2026 (up from the current service level of 24 tph). This is a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times.
Combined with a signalling upgrade and the purchase of additional trains, peak period capacity on the busiest central sections of the Piccadilly line will increase by more than half by the end of the 2020s and will mean an additional 21,000 customers will be able to board trains every hour during peak times.
The four Deep Tube lines make up a third of the Underground network, carrying around two million passengers per day on key corridors linking the City, the West End, King’s Cross and Heathrow Airport.
The Deep Tube Upgrade Programme aims to replace the life-expired rolling stock, signalling and control systems across the four lines. In total, the upgrade programme will deliver a 36% increase in capacity across the four lines by 2035.
News trains, new design features
The existing Piccadilly line trains were introduced in 1975. These trains are now one of the oldest train fleets in passenger service in the UK, with a design life of 40 years.
The new trains will have a host of new design features that will significantly increase customer comfort. Each new train will be six metres longer than the existing Piccadilly line trains.
They will include walk-through, fully air-conditioned carriages and improved accessibility, and will be specially designed to optimise the space constraints in the narrow Deep Tube tunnels. Customers will also benefit from in-train information systems helping them to plan their onward journey more easily.
While this order is for an initial 94 trains, the contract will be awarded on the expectation of a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines. Creating a single train design will allow TfL to maximise cost savings through greater standardisation of train operations, staff training, equipment, spares and maintenance.
London becomes greener
TfL’s comprehensive and strict procurement process evaluated key criteria focused on deliverability, technical expertise and value for money. The contract award is subject to a statutory 10-day standstill period. A separate procurement process for the signalling and train control systems for the Deep Tube lines is well underway with a view to awarding this contract by mid-2020.
The continued modernisation of the Tube is a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place. The investment in improving public transport will help reduce reliance on the car and contribute to the Mayor’s target of 80% of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.
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