Bombardier workers celebrate production of 1,000th vehicle

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Workers at Bombardier’s Derby plant have celebrated the production of the 1,000th Sub-Surface line carriage for London Underground.

Construction of SSL stock – the first air-conditioned trains to operate on LU – started in 2010, with the last of the 1,395 carriages scheduled to depart Derby in 2015.

Current production levels see a new train leave Derby every week before they go to Old Dalby for testing.

Once described by London Mayor Boris Johnson as “the coolest ride in town” after a bicycle, the trains have revolutionised Tube travel across the capital since their wholesale introduction on the Metropolitan line and their increasing use on the Hammersmith and City, Circle and District lines.

Derby1CreditJonathanWebb
Bombardier’s president, rolling stock and services UK, Francis Paonessa (left) with chief operating officer for London Underground Phil Hufton. Photo: Jonathan Webb.

All older stock on these lines is expected to be withdrawn by 2016, with the Hammersmith and City line stock being the next to go for scrap.

The SSL trains are supplied in two versions. S8 run on the  Metropolitan line, operating in an eight-car formation, and S7 running on the Circle, Hammersmith and City, District lines. These run as seven-car trains. Each train has seating capacity for 306 and 256 passengers respectively with total standing capacity figures of 697 and 609.

Every axle of the train is motored, maximising acceleration rates and improving braking capability.

Staff at the Derby factory are hoping that 2014, which also marks the 175th anniversary of train production on site, will give them the opportunity to celebrate again when the winner of the Crossrail contract is announced in the spring.

Report by Jonathan Webb

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