These Amazing Autonomous Trains Are the Future of London's Subway

Illustration for article titled These Amazing Autonomous Trains Are the Future of London's Subway

Underground train lines may be dark and gloomy, but the rolling stock that uses them needn't be. These sleek autonomous trains are what London plans to ferry its inhabitants in within the next ten years.

The New Tube for London trains are the result of a collaboration between design studio PriestmanGoode and Transport for London. But they're not a far-fetched concept: they're actually planned to be put into use by 2022.

Unlike the existing trains, the new offerings will allow passengers to walk from carriage to carriage, and the entrance doors are wider to make it easier to get on and off during rush hour. There's also air conditioning and electronic displays for ads and passenger information. But perhaps the biggest change: they'll be able to function autonomously, much like the trains on London's existing Light Docklands Railway.


Transport for London plans to build and deploy 25o of the new trains, which will be used on the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines over the next ten years. Occasional services aside, they should run 24 hours a day for the next 30 years. [TfL]

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I haven't ridden all of the London Underground, but the parts I've been in are well lit and much cleaner than the subways of New York. Also, the trains I have been on had no bulkheads between cars, so moving from one car to another was unobstructed.