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Testing of first new Piccadilly line train started

posted on 2nd Aug 2023 09:54

The first of the 94 Siemens-built trains for Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Piccadilly line has arrived at the Test and Validation Centre in Wegberg-Wildenrath. The first nine-car train came off the production line in Wien at the end of July before being transported to the PCW, with some eagle-eyed people spotting it enroute to Germany. Meanwhile, work to complete Siemens Mobility's new site in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where around half the trains will be assembled, is near completion.

The train will be put through rigorous tests including acceleration and braking functionality, noise and vibration trials, as well as testing all the equipment onboard, both hardware and software, and functional tests of the interfaces the train will have with off-train equipment. This is just the start of the trains’ journey towards transforming rail travel in London from 2025.

Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director for Rolling Stock and Customer Services for Siemens Mobility UK, said: “The first new Piccadilly line train is now at our 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.“  

Stuart Harvey, TfL’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. However, such large-scale investment will not be possible without continued capital investment from the Government from April 2024. We will continue to work with the Government to make the case for long term investment in London to make it an even better, greener, safer and more successful place for everyone.” 

The Piccadilly line trains are based on Siemens Mobility’s Inspiro family of metro trains and offer passengers an improved customer experience with walk-through, air-conditioned carriages and improved accessibility. The new metro 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 for passengers. The lighter weight is due to the innovative articulated design which requires fewer bogies.   

Around half of the new trains will be assembled at Siemens Mobility’s new site in Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire. The site is currently in the final stages of fit-out, with recruitment well underway, ahead of production starting at the UK-based site from early 2024. Up to 200 million GBP is being invested in developing the train manufacturing facility, which will create up to 700 skilled jobs, as well as up to 1,700 in the supply chain and 250 during construction. 

The Piccadilly line trains are due to start entering passenger service in London from 2025, replacing the existing fleet dating from the 1970s.

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