TfL Sets Out Plans to Cool the Tube

As air-conditioned trains roll out on Hammersmith and City line

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With summer finally here, Transport for London has set out its plans to cool the Tube and TfL's rail and bus services and keep temperatures on the transport network at a manageable level.

New air-conditioned trains, which have been running on the Metropolitan line for the past couple of years, are now being introduced on the Hammersmith & City line, and later this summer on the Circle line.

Tfl says both lines will be fully served by the new trains by the end of next year and District line passengers will be next to benefit. By 2016, an air-conditioned service of 191 trains will be in operation, covering 40 per cent of the Tube network.

Customers using two of London's busiest Tube stations, Green Park and Oxford Circus, will benefit from the station cooling systems that were installed last year, which have made a significant difference by reducing the temperature at platform level. Other work to improve ventilation shafts, restore out of service fan systems and portable fans will also be helping to keep passengers cool this summer.

TfL is also providing hot weather advice to passengers. Posters and announcements at stations will provide tips to passengers on how to stay comfortable, including:

Carry water with you
Don't board a train or bus if you feel unwell
If you feel unwell please get off at the next stop and seek help from our staff
Avoid pulling the passenger alarm between stations, and get off of the train at the next stop as help can be more easily obtained on a platform

TfL says the big challenge remains to cool the deep level parts of the Tube, which are unique to London's Tube network and not replicated on any other metro system in the world. The tunnels only allow enough room for trains and, as a consequence, there is no space for air-conditioning. Working with the train industry, London Underground is looking to the future and what that holds for the next generation of trains, with the aim that they generate less heat and have more space so that a cooling solution could possibly be implemented.

Phil Hufton, LU's Chief Operating Officer, says: " The new air-conditioned trains have proved a massive success on the Metropolitan line and now customers on the Hammersmith & City are starting to feel the benefits. Throughout the coming months further new air-conditioned trains will be introduced on the Circle line

" But we know there is still a lot to do and cooling the other deeper lines of the Tube remains a considerable engineering challenge, but one which we are actively addressing. We are doing all we can to manage temperatures and, in the meantime, we ask customers to follow our tips for making travelling comfortable in hot weather."

In addition to the work to manage temperatures on the Tube, a number of measures are helping to keep passengers cool on other parts of the transport network.

Following successful trials of such systems, TfL London Buses has now made it compulsory for all new vehicles to be fitted with upper deck cooling systems as standard. More than half of London's 6,100 double deck buses have now had them fitted, and the majority of buses also have white roof panels which help to reflect the heat.

New buses must have insulated roof and side panels which reflect heat along with tinted side glass.

The London Overground network is also now served by a fleet of 57 air-conditioned trains.


July 5, 2013