First new Piccadilly Line train tested in Germany

The new walk-through tube trains are set to be introduced on the London Underground from 2025, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

New Piccadilly line train leaving the factory (credit Siemens)
New Piccadilly line train leaving the factory (credit Siemens)

The first new Piccadilly Line train off the production line is being tested in Germany today (Tuesday 1st) as transport bosses prepare for the new model’s introduction to London’s tube network.

The new rail stock is undergoing acceleration and braking testing, along with noise and vibration trials and assessments of its hardware and software.

The Piccadilly Line’s existing trains have been in use since 1975, and are expected to be replaced with the new models in 2025.

The state-of-the-art fleet will feature walk-through carriages, air cooling, wider all-double doorways, enhanced digital information screens, improved step-free access onto the platform and on-train CCTV cameras.

The first of the 94 new trains came off the production line in Vienna, Austria, at the end of July, before travelling to the test centre at Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Ensuring London’s transport network keeps up with the demands of our great city means continually improving and updating our infrastructure.

“These new trains will transform travel on the Piccadilly Line, making them more comfortable for passengers and improving people’s daily journeys.”

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The new trains will increase capacity by around 10% and are also significantly lighter than existing designs which will mean the trains are more energy efficient as well as providing a smoother ride.

However, further improvements to frequency on the Piccadilly Line will not be possible until long-awaited signal upgrades are completed – with funding currently unavailable.

Stuart Harvey, Transport for London’s chief capital officer, said: “We hope to follow the introduction of these new trains to the Piccadilly Line by doing the same on the Bakerloo Line, replacing the 51-year-old trains that it currently operates, and then by introducing new signalling across the deep tube lines to realise the full benefits of the new trains.”

Meanwhile, work to complete Siemens Mobility’s new site in Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire – where around half the trains will be assembled – is nearing completion. The site is currently in the final stages of fit-out, with recruitment well under way, ahead of production starting from early 2024.

Sambit Banerjee, a managing director at Siemens Mobility UK, said: “This is the first stage of testing before London Underground’s newest train reaches the UK for further testing and integration in late 2024.

“I am incredibly proud to see this first train continue its journey towards enhancing passenger experience and transforming rail travel on the Piccadilly Line.”

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