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Tube trains

Whilst waiting for a tube train, I wondered why instead of one very long train every 5-10mins they don’t run short trains more frequently. Historically, longer trains would be more efficient – fewer drivers required and because you need to leave gaps between trains, the throughput is higher.

Of course these days we have automated trains so using this approach:
* shorter wait for trains
* less crowding on the platform (probably)
* it’s automated so no chaos caused by strikes
* shorter platforms – less distance to walk, cheaper stations
* more flexible trains – they could go to a wider selection of destinations (and more directly)
* with shorter trains if one breaks down you could possibly get another train to shunt it gently into a layby

There are a few disadvantages:
* automatic systems are often complex and require more rigorous safety measures than manned systems
* train efficiency may well be lower
* passenger safety (from other passengers)

I’m sure it’s already been thought of many times before, so why hasn’t it been done? The advantages seem huge compared to current systems.

Comments

Comment from Stu Teasdale
Time: Saturday 26 December, 2009, 14:52

Well the DLR is unmanned and the drivers on the vicotria line do nothing. TBH the major blocker here is the RMT demanding a certain level of manning on the trains, even though they do nothing particularly useful.