London Underground is understood to be preparing a £16 million order for new Tube trains on lines including Central, Bakerloo and Piccadilly.
Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground, told the London Evening Standard he was looking to recruit top designers to work on the project and was ‘unashamedly’ branding it as the New Tube for London, echoing the New Bus for London project.
Brown says, ‘We will talk to individual designers, and clearly Thomas Heatherwick is one of the best, but there are others.
‘We also want to have a more coherent theme at our stations.’
He adds, ‘Think of the New Bus for London in a deep-level Tube and it’s not that far off.’
Brown says the new trains will have modern features such as air-conditioning and through carriages and will also ‘really incorporate our heritage’.
The Heatherwick-designed New Bus for London hit the streets of the capital in 201.
It was the result of a complicated and lengthy procurement process, which began with an open, public competition in 2008, took in designs from Foster + Partners and Aston Martin, and resulted in the Heatherwick and Wrightbus concept, which was unveiled in 2010.