UK: Transport for London invited Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Siemens to tender for a contract to supply 250 new trainsets for the London Underground on January 18.

The procurement forms part of the New Tube for London programme to modernise rolling stock, infrastructure and signalling on the small-profile Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, Bakerloo and Central lines.

Expressions of interest were invited in February 2014, when invitations to tender had been expected to be issued in early 2015. The five pre-qualified bidders have been asked to submit their proposals this summer, with the contract expected to be awarded in autumn 2017 and the trains to enter service from ‘the early 2020s’. The cost of the order is expected to be between £1bn and £2·5bn.

TfL said the trains would be ‘designed and built to be future-proofed, which will include the capability for fully-automatic operation, given that the New Tube will serve London for around 50 years.’

They would feature improved accessibility and safety features including walk-through carriages and wider doors, and would be first air-cooled trains on the deep tube sections of the network, where the installation of air-conditioning is impractical because there would be nowhere for the excess heat to go.

TfL has worked with PriestmanGoode to develop design concepts for the trains, with ‘attractive internal styling’ intended to balance ‘the design and function of a train that will serve London for decades to come’ with the network’s ‘world-renowned and instantly recognisable design heritage’.

‘Today’s invitation to train manufacturers to submit bids for the design and build of the New Tube is a significant step forward’, said Nick Brown, Managing Director of London Underground. ‘To meet the needs of our rapidly growing population we must continue to invest in and improve our services. More people are using the Underground than at any point in its 153-year history. The New Tube for London will transform the journeys of millions of customers, providing trains fit for a world city for the next five decades.’

New Tube for London trains
LineApproximate no of trainsetsCapacity increase
Piccadilly1006021 000
Waterloo & City 10357 000
Bakerloo40259 000
Central 1002512 000