Cooler Tubes Are Coming

But District Line passengers have to wait four years

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Cooler air-conditioned tube trains are on their way - but they won't reach the District Line until 2013.

The first air-con trains will run on the Metropolitan Line next summer, followed by the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines in 2011 and the District Line two years later.

However, Mayor Boris Johnson reckons it will be worth the wait. After trying out the first cooled train at a test track in Oxford he said: " Having taken it for a test run myself I can vouch that passengers are going to be terrifically impressed.

" For thousands of clammy Tube passengers some relief is finally in sight. We have now begun testing the first of 191 super cool and spacious new trains.

" These trains are fully walkthrough, boast improved information and security features, are designed to make life easier for disabled passengers and the air conditioning systems will keep passengers comfortable whatever the weather. "

He admitted however, that long-suffering travellers on the deeper lines, including the Victoria and Central Lines, faced a long and sweaty wait. These lines have little space to fit in extra air-conditioning equipment.

Boris said: " Cooling the deeper lines remains a considerable challenge. A crack team of Transport for London engineers is focused on that and is concentrating on the Victoria line in
particular."

This year the 3.5 million Londoners who use the tube every day are being told to carry a bottle of water with them, as temperatures could soar to a boiling 47C.  London Underground is also upgrading the fan ventilation network in tube stations, and doubling the capacity of fans at the Victoria Line's main ventilation shaft.

Ice cold water from deep underground is being used to cool the platforms at Victoria Station, and engineers have also drilled trail wells to do the same thing at Green Park.

June 24, 2009