Wabtec Equipping London Underground’s New Piccadilly Fleet

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The 94 new Piccadilly Line trains from Siemens Mobility will include a variety of Wabtec components, and are slated to start entering service in 2025. (Siemens)

The 94 new Piccadilly Line trains from Siemens Mobility will include a variety of Wabtec components, and are slated to start entering service in 2025. (Siemens)

Siemens Mobility has selected Wabtec Corp. to provide components for the 94 new nine-car Inspiro trains it is supplying as part of the London Underground’s Piccadilly Upgrade Program.

The upgrade program’s first phase will replace the 50-year-old fleet; the new trains are expected to start entering service in 2025. It then aims to modernize signaling and control systems.

Under a $70 million contract, Wabtec reported it will deliver braking, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC), passenger information, and third-rail collector systems as an initial order. The brakes provide a 551-pound weight savings and a two-year extension on overhaul intervals; the sanding system improves traction and adhesion; and the collectors, with resin molding technology on select components, reduce weight by more than 15%, according to Wabtec. This is the first time trains on the deep tube line will have air conditioning, the company noted.

“These orders build upon our long-standing relationship with Siemens Mobility,” said Lilian Leroux, President of Wabtec’s Transit business. “The Piccadilly Upgrade Program will greatly improve the London Underground, and we are delighted to have so many solutions selected by Siemens to be part of a new fleet of trains that will create new levels of excellence in performance, reliability, safety and passenger experience.”

Commentary from IRJ Consulting Editor/Associate Publisher David Briginshaw: “Installing air conditioning on London Underground’s deep tube line trains has always been considered a huge challenge because of the small profile of the trains dictated by the 12-foot-diameter of the tunnels. It appears that Siemens and Wabtec have found space to fit the equipment on the new trains and dissipate the heat in the tunnels.”

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