London is close to welcoming 94 new shiny new Piccadilly Line trains, after the first of a new Siemens-built batch went for testing in Germany.
Transport for London said the state-of-the-art tube trains had gone for trials at a test and validation centre in Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany.
Consisting of nine carriages, the trains came off the production line in Austria, Vienna, before heading west. A new Siemens Mobility site in East Riding, Yorkshire, will construct about half of the trains, before they are put through rigorous testing.
The Yorkshire site has had £200m invested in developing train manufacturing, creating almost 2,700 jobs directly and indirectly. It’s currently in the final stages of its fit out, ready for the trains arrivals.
The new Piccadilly Line tube trains are set to grace London rails from 2025 onwards, and will be put through their paces to ensure safety standards.
The old trains have been in operation since the early 1970s.
They are set to offer commuters a better ride to work with walk-through and air-conditioned carriages, as well as better accessibility.
Currently the Piccadilly Line trains are notoriously hot and stuffy, and the line is the fourth busiest – it serves Heathrow Airport, central London and both the north west and north east of the capital.
The new trains, which will have 10 per cent more capacity than the existing fleet, are part of TfL’s ‘new tube for London’ scheme with Siemens Mobility.
Starting with the Piccadilly Line, the partnership has an option to extend for 250 trains with the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo and City.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed the move saying: “These new trains will transform travel on the Piccadilly line, making them more comfortable for passengers and improving people’s daily journeys.”
“Improvements like this also have a vital role to play in making our network more energy efficient and can only happen with continued government investment.”
Meanwhile, Sambit Banerjee, the MD for rolling stock and customer services at Siemens Mobility UKI, said: “The first new Piccadilly line train is now at our world class testing facility in Germany where it will undergo a period of extensive testing.”
“This is the first stage of testing before London Underground’s newest train reaches the UK for further testing and integration in late 2024,” he said.
TfL’s chief capital officer, Stuart Harvey, added: “We remain on track for these new Piccadilly line trains, which will see air conditioning brought to the deep tube network for the very first time, to start serving our customers from 2025.
“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”.