London's long-running plan to upgrade part of the Underground fleet has taken a big step into actually happening, with Transport for London announcing that it's going ahead with the ordering of 94 all-new next-gen tube trains – to be built by Siemens in East Yorkshire.
The £1.5bn investment will see the new trains running on the Piccadilly line by 2024, which means just another five searing hot summers are to be endured before the air conditioned units arrive in the warmest of London's deeper tunnels. Interestingly, they will initially require a driver of sorts, although the plan is to call them "operators" and hopefully phase them out at some point in the distant future, giving bosses the option of delivering a fully driverless system. Provided the unions don't brick up all the tunnels and cement themselves into the platforms in protest.
The plan is to eventually roll these new trains out to the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines too, but the first job is for Siemens to build a factory in Goole to build the things in, then get a few ready for testing by 2023. [Transport for London]