Date Published 15 October 2014
The Underground is perhaps widely known as one of the most famous transportation networks in the entire world. Built in 1863, the first underground railway service, using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, was a revelation that would change the way we look at travel for years to come.
However, the governing bodies have decided that the long-serving tube is looking tired and could do with a spot of modernisation. Yes, that's right, our days of lumbering on board a sweaty, excessively busy, plastic tube are numbered as it was revealed last week that the service is going to be replaced with something resembling futuristic spacecrafts from a sci-fi movie.
The new trains have been designed by design firm Priestmangoode, and they've kept the city's comfort in mind. A key feature to the design was to incorporate walk-through carriages, meaning that less space is wasted and more people can fit on board; wider doors are also going to be implemented to help prevent that mad end-of-the-day rush, making it easier to get on and off. All carriages are to be equipped with free wi-fi and even air conditioning, meaning that a ride on the Underground may actually be a pleasurable experience, as opposed to a torturous trip where touching anything could result in getting a bacterial infection.
As it stands, up to 250 trains have been commissioned to be built and deployed on the Piccadilly line, followed shortly after by the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines. The estimated cost of the new service is somewhere around the £2 billion mark, and it seems very likely that the TFL (Transport For London) will be sourcing part of this sizeable chunk by cutting back (again) on staff. Priestmangoode have stated that the trains have the ability to be driverless, although when they are first implemented it is thought that they will have drivers.
The downside to this positive news is that the trains aren't going to be ready until about 2025, so we're all going to have to struggle on with the current service, with the news of modernisation acting out as a distant dream.