Siemens airs concept for future Tube design

15 October 2013
By Lorna Sharpe
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The Inspiro will be a contender for forthcoming Tube contracts

The Inspiro will be a contender for forthcoming Tube contracts

Siemens has unveiled a design concept for a train that could solve the so-far intractable problem of keeping London’s Tube passengers cool in the summer months.

The rolling-stock manufacturer has created a full-scale mock-up of the train to show how its Inspiro metro family could meet London’s needs, clearly with an eye on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo line contracts when they go out to tender.

Air conditioning is provided in the newest trains on London Underground’s ‘sub-surface lines’, which were excavated from ground level and then covered over, but the oldest of the deep Tube lines run in tunnels just 3.1m in diameter, so there is very little space either to fit air-con equipment on the trains or to disperse the heat removed.

Steve Robillard of Siemens Mobility says the Inspiro’s space-saving and weight-saving features, notably articulation, drive down overall energy consumption. “It’s a complete calculation,” he explained. Even with air conditioning, the train “will at least match existing heat output; the goal is a reduction.”

Articulation reduces the number of bogies needed and creates space for underfloor equipment as well as allowing a ‘walkthrough’ layout.  In the mock-up, the usual paper map is replaced by an electronic version that shows the position of the train in real time.

The Inspiro concept is on show at ‘Going Underground: Our journey to the future’, presented by Siemens in conjunction with London Transport Museum and media specialists CBS Outdoor UK.

The free exhibition runs to the end of 2013 in a temporary ‘station’ building at The Crystal in Royal Victoria Docks.

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