Tube drivers, those lovable, irked-sounding men and women of the tannoy, could be coming to the end of the line.
Dezeen is reporting on TfL’s new tube trains - commissioned for the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City lines – which are expected to be on the network by 2020.
The new trains are designed by London agency Priestmangoode as part of a £16billion contract to modernise the Underground. Innovations include LED lighting, air-conditioning, video display advertising and wi-fi access. They also do away with traditional carriages, instead featuring one continuous interior (a bit like a subterranean bendy bus).
While these snazzy new engines will have drivers to begin with, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has suggested that they may become fully automated by the middle of the next decade. They are intended to run for the next 30 years as part of a new, 24-hour tube service.
We’re pretty sure that the handrails will still be greasy though. If only to keep the traditionalists happy.