The first refurbished Central Line trains on the Underground has entered passenger service in London.
Rolling stock on the line dates from the early 1990s and is now 30 years old, with TfL embarking on a comprehensive refurbishment program. Traction motors will be changed and new passenger information screens installed. Trains will see CCTV added alongside new seat covers and a spruced up interior.
Tube trains tend to have long life spans up to 50 years in service and most trains reaching 30 years of age will a see comprehensive refurbishment undertaken. The same is true with national rail where 40 years of age (so a bit younger than some tube stock) is not uncommon for electric trains with refurbishments at 20 years.
But not all. Ahem.
The 50 year old Bakerloo line stock looks set to reach 60 years in service and is seeing a limited refurbishment program.
Central line trains have had a bit of a breather with the advent of the Elizabeth line helping take passengers away enabling stock to be taken for the revamp.
Five trains at a time will be withdrawn for refurbishment in coming years.
There were originally plans to potentially replace stock in coming years but government cuts to TfL funding have made the Piccadilly line’s 1973 stock the only project to proceed.
Though even the full Piccadilly line project could be at risk. Even those 50 year old Bakerloo line trains have no confirmed replacement, and plans to extend the line from Elepthant & Castle to Lewisham to unlock tens of thousand sof new homes for a rising population have stalled.
While government cut day-to-day operational funding the hope was they’d still invest in one-off capital projects as has been the norm for decades, though now seem hesitant.
Business in London have pressured the government to continue funding though as of yet no confirmation as yet including in the Autumn Statement this week.