Bombardier to revamp Victoria line

London’s Victoria line fleet of underground trains is undergoing its first redesign as part of a £17bn investment in the Tube by Metronet Rail.

Rail specialists Bombardier Transportation has redesigned and built 47 eight-car trains, which will come into operation in 2009. The carriages have been reconfigured to create more space for commuters, featuring larger standing areas and multi-purpose zones installed with tip-up seats to provide extra space for wheelchairs, buggies and luggage.

To reflect the revamped look, a fresh colour scheme incorporating the iconic blue colours of the Victoria line will be applied to the train interiors, floors and chair fabric. The chairs have also been redesigned to give extra comfort with a greater aisle width between seating bays. The carriages will also include improved ventilation systems, CCTV cameras, and will feature electric doors rather that the current pneumatic doors. Colour-contrasted doorways have also been designed to help the visually impaired manoeuvre around the carriages. An updated signalling and control system will support the revamped fleet of trains.

A prototype of the carriage will undergo customer acceptance testing and the results will be published in October. The design may be tweaked according to recommendations.

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