New trains for London Underground’s Piccadilly Line are undergoing extensive testing by Siemens Mobility in Europe, both on the test track and in the climate chamber, in readiness for the company’s Goole factory to start building them.
Siemens Mobility is building 94 Piccadilly line trains for TfL, with around half to be assembled at the new train manufacturing facility in Goole, where work will start next year. Up to £200m is being invested in developing the rail village, which will create up to 700 skilled jobs, as well as up to 1,700 in the supply chain and 250 during construction. Some of the parts for the new trains will also come from local suppliers in Yorkshire, including LPA Lighting Systems who will provide the LED interior lighting.
The first-newly built state-of-the-art test train is at the Test and Validation Centre in Germany, where it is being put through its paces on the test track during dynamic testing to demonstrate acceleration and braking functionality along with noise and vibration trials. Intensive testing is taking place in the build up to the first train arriving in London next summer for further testing and integration before the new trains start entering service in London in 2025.
Meanwhile, a three-car formation of the Piccadilly line carriages has been put through testing in a special climate chamber to ensure the trains will be able to endure extreme weather conditions. Tests focused on the effects of extreme ambient temperatures from -15°C to 40°C, solar load of 600W/m2, ice and high wind speeds of up to 100km/h to check the train can still operate in extreme weather conditions. Monitors were used to understand what passengers would experience, measuring humidity and temperatures in the carriages.
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 per cent and are also lighter than existing designs which will mean the trains are more energy efficient as well as providing a smoother ride for passengers. All trains will be fitted with CCTV in the carriages.
Sambit Banerjee, Joint CEO for Siemens Mobility UKI, said: “It is quite something to see the first of the new state-of-the-art Piccadilly line trains being tested. Although we are still in the early stage of testing, we are learning a lot about this test train and its future performance. As well as testing on the track, we have also been using our climate chamber to ensure the trains can operate safely in extreme weather conditions. These vital tests mark an important milestone for the project.”