Transport for London (TfL) has named Siemens as the train builder that will replace some of the oldest train on the London Underground network, with a £1.5 billion deal that will see 94 trains enter operation on the Piccadilly line that includes connections between Heathrow Airport and the city centre.
Planned for introduction in 2023, the Inspiro walkthrough-style trains will replace the fleet built in 1975 which have already surpassed their 40 year design life. They will form part of TfL’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme that includes the overhaul of signalling on the line that will enable three more trains to operate an hour, to 27 trains, by 2026. When it’s up and running, the programme will improve capacity on the line by 60% and will also bring about a better service across the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines.
Siemens’ trains will be built in Yorkshire, North England, an agreement that TfL said proves the positive impact that the nation’s capital has on the prospect on the rest of country, generating around 1,700 indirect jobs and apprentice and graduate roles. The final beneficiaries of the work, the passengers, are destined to see a better service from the upgraded lines and trains, with the network allowing more than 20,000 access to trains during the busiest times – seen as critical as the population of the capital increases.
The Commissioner of TfL, Mike Brown, said the announcement was a huge milestone for the capital and the Underground. “It demonstrates that investment in London creates jobs and apprenticeship opportunities right across the country. These trains will transform the journeys of millions of our customers, and provide faster, more frequent and more reliable trains for decades to come.”
The latest deal with Siemens comes six months after data was published that showed a decline in passenger numbers across TfL’s network that includes buses, trams and trains – with 13 million fewer journeys made on London Underground in 2017 compared with the previous year. The reasons behind the drop – against a backdrop of a growing London population – are unknown, but there has been suggestions that takeaway food deliveries and subscription TV services have led to more people choosing home over restaurants and cinemas. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he hoped that the incoming Crossrail service, The Elizabeth Line would improve the situation by increasing footfall and reconfiguring how people use transport in outer London.
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