More than 700,000 passengers use the Piccadilly Line every day, but TfL says the combination of limited fleet size and obsolete signalling technology had restricted its ability to increase capacity.

 The Inspiro trains will be delivered from 2023 onwards enabling up to 27 trains-per-hour (tph) to operate at peak times by the end of 2026, compared with a maximum of 24 tph at present.

Combined with a signalling upgrade and the purchase of additional trains, peak period capacity on the busiest central sections of the Piccadilly Line will increase by more than 21,000 passengers per hour by the end of the 2020s.

The order is the first under the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme which aims to replace the life-expired rolling stock, signalling and control systems across the four lines. In total, the upgrade programme will deliver a 36% increase in capacity across the four Deep Tube lines by 2035.

The Programme will deliver approximately 100 trains for the Piccadilly Line giving 60% more capacity, 40 trains for the Bakerloo line giving 25% more capacity, 100 trains for the Central line giving 25% more capacity and 10 trains for the Waterloo & City Line giving 50% more capacity.

Each new train will be 6m longer than the existing six-car 1973 Stock trains used on the Piccadilly Line. They will include walk-through, fully air-conditioned carriages and improved accessibility, and will be specially designed to make optimal use of the restrictive loading gauge in the Deep Tube tunnels.

TfL says passengers will also benefit from in-train information systems helping them to plan their onward journey more easily.

While the order is for an initial 94 trains, TfL says the contract will be awarded on the expectation of a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines.

Creating a single train design will enable TfL to maximise cost savings through greater standardisation of train operations, staff training, equipment, spares and maintenance.

The contract will allow Siemens to progress its plan to build a new assembly plant at Goole in East Yorkshire.
Siemens says the facility would employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus up to an additional 250 people during the construction phase.

TfL says it will work with Siemens to maximise the number of Piccadilly Line trains being assembled at this facility.

Twenty-two British suppliers have been identified in the bid to potentially work with Siemens on the project, and at least 50 new apprentice and graduate positions could be created.

London Underground placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in February 2014 seeking expressions of interest for the design and manufacture of a new fleet of trains for the Piccadilly Line, with options for the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines.

The contract also included whole-life technical support from the manufacturer.

Bids were received in September 2016 from Alstom, a Bombardier/Hitachi joint venture and the successful bid from Siemens.

The contract award is subject to a statutory 10-day standstill period. A separate procurement process for the signalling and train control systems for the Deep Tube lines is well underway with a view to awarding the contract by mid-2020.

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