- London's new Tube trains to feature WiFi and 'air cooling'
- Wider doors and 'walk-through' design make life easier for passengers
- First of 250 new carriages to run from 2022
Like most travellers to London we love using the Tube – London's underground train network – to zip around the city. In fact, travellers tend to love the London underground more than the locals.
But Londoners could change their tune, or at least find less to grumble about, with the sleek new Tube trains revealed today.
Designed by London firm Priestmangoode – the canny chaps behind many of the best airline seats and cabins – the 250 carriages are estimated to cost around £2 billion (that's a whopping A$3.7 billion – or one-third of the entire Sydney-Canberra high-speed rail line proposed by Canberra Airport).
But that massive cash splash will deliver trains which Transport for London says will run faster, keep travellers cooler (thanks to 'air cooling', which has previously been unavailable on deep-level lines) and also keep them connected via WiFi hotspots dotted throughout the carriages.
On the inside, LCD screens will serve up a mix of commuter information and advertising.
New signalling systems will also be rolled out to help boost Tube capacity by between 25% and 60%, depending on the Underground line in use.
Sadly, everybody's in for a good wait before boarding the first of the new Tube trains. They're not slated to start running until 2022, and then only at first on the popular Piccadilly line, with the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines to follow.
The trains are also designed for automated driver-less operation, and while TfL promises that "when the new trains first enter service they will have an operator on board", London Mayor Boris Johnson has reportedly and not surprisingly suggested that drivers will be phased out.
Here's a video clip showing more of the carriages.
If you're in London through to November 16, swing by the Northern ticket hall of King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station to see the 'New Tube for London' exhibition.
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