In the next ten years, London is going to have new tube trains on the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo lines. There’s a great interview here with the designer of these trains, who explains how they will different to existing trains. I was most interested in how the trains would increase capacity. This is a challenge as the size of the train is fixed by the size of the tunnels and length of the platforms.
Two main approaches have been adopted. First, to increase the capacity of each train, there will not be doors between the carriages, but “concertina” passageways allowing more passengers to stand on each train. Second, to speed up the flow of trains through the system, dwell time at each station has to be reduced, by getting passengers on and off the trains more quickly. This has been achieved in a number of different ways. In terms of the physical design, each train will have more doors, and each of these will be wider. But the servicescape will also be designed to influence passenger behaviour, so that they do not delay trains. This will include colour coding on doors, information of the floor, and video screens in each carriage.