A first peek at the trains set to roll out of Goole’s new £200 million manufacturing plant has been given.
Siemens Mobility has sent the first of the 94 new Piccadilly line models it is contracted to build for testing, after it came off the production line in Austria.
The project is split between Vienna and Goole, with the latter now closing in on completion. Around half the trains are to be assembled at the East Yorkshire site, where a component facility is already operating and funding has recently been secured for a university-backed research centre.
Read more: New rail research facility in Goole will be an innovation express for supply chain SMEs
The first train was photographed as it made the near 1,000 km trip between the factory and Siemens Mobility’s Test and Validation Centre at Wegberg-Wildenrath in Germany.
There the nine-carriage unit 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. It is expected in London in just over a year.
The first nine-carriage new Piccadilly line train leaving the Siemens Mobility factory in Vienna, Austria. (Image: Siemens Mobility)
…And arriving at the Siemens Mobility Test and Validation Centre in Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany. (Image: Siemens Mobility) 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 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. I am incredibly proud to see this first train continue its journey towards enhancing passenger experience and transforming rail travel on the Piccadilly line.“
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 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 – the structure containing the wheels, motors and suspension to support and power the train.
In Goole the site is currently in the final stages of fit-out, with recruitment well underway, with up to 700 jobs forecast and many more in the supply chain. It is hoped a Bakerloo line order could follow, lifting rolling stock from both ‘deep tube’ networks out of the Seventies. Transport for London is working on the investment case with government, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on board. He toured the site and saw an early mock-up of a cab early last year.
Mr 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. 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. I will continue to work with TfL and the Government to ensure we get the long-term investment our network needs and help build a better, more prosperous city for all Londoners.”
An aerial image of how the Siemens Mobility rail village is shaping up in Goole. (Image: Siemens Mobility) The sight of the new trains has further motivated TfL’s chief capital officer Stuart Harvey too. He added: “Seeing the first of our new Piccadilly line trains getting ready to undergo rigorous testing clearly demonstrates the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes to build a new fleet of state-of-the-art tube trains for London. 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, 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.”
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