Knorr-Bremse IFE to supply door systems for Piccadilly line trains

Siemens Mobility is building 94 new trains for the Piccadilly line.

Siemens has ordered the door systems for the 94 underground trains that it is building for the Piccadilly line from IFE, a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse.

The order is for 3,760 door systems (7,144 door leaves), to be supplied to Siemens Mobility’s factories in Vienna, Austria, and Goole, East Yorkshire, from mid-2021.

An underground-train door under test at IFE.

As Siemens Mobility itself has an option from London Underground for additional trains for the other deep-tube lines, so this order on IFE includes an option to supply a further 9,000 additional door systems for 216 trains by 2030.

Although both IFE and Knorr-Bremse are based in Germany, they will be working with Siemens Mobility, which is building a factory in Goole to assemble the trains, to drive up the UK content, particularly from firms in the London area.

Dr Jürgen Wilder, Knorr-Bremse.

Dr Jürgen Wilder, the Knorr-Bremse board member responsible for rail vehicle systems, said: “By supplying our entrance technology to the London Underground’s world-famous Piccadilly line, we are helping to meet Londoners’ growing mobility requirements and helping to deliver faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys,

“The order also cements the presence of our highly innovative door systems in London’s rail transportation system, where they are already in use in LRVs, regional multiple units and high-speed trains.”

Oliver Schmidt, Knorr-Bremse.

Oliver Schmidt, who is responsible for Knorr-Bremse’s global entrance systems business, added: “We are delighted that our hard work in preparing the bid convinced our customers at Siemens Mobility of our know-how as technology leaders, allowing us to win the largest order in IFE’s history.

“This is the first time that we will be supplying doors for the Tube. The tunnel and vehicle profiles make this a really exciting challenge.”

Technically, the most challenging aspect of supplying doors to the Piccadilly line upgrade project is the pronounced curvature of the door leaves, necessitated by the small size of the deep-tube tunnels.

An early design on show at InnoTrans 2016.

However, although the external sliding doors and spindle drives have been tailored to London Underground/Siemens Mobility’s specifications, they also use tried-and-tested components, engineered to last at least 40 years.

Sambit Banerjee, Siemens Mobility.

Sambit Banerjee, Siemens Mobility managing director for rolling stock and customer service, said: “These next generation Tube trains will provide a step change in passenger experience for those traveling on the Piccadilly line.

“Key to providing an increased frequency of trains, and therefore greatly improved capacity, is the ability to get on and off the train quickly, meaning less congestion on the station platform.

“We are delighted that Knorr-Bremse and IFE will be our partners in helping make this a reality.”

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