St Paul's station

The UK’s Transport for London (TfL) has introduced a new fan chiller system at St Paul’s Tube station, which pumps cold air onto the eastbound Central line platform.

Designed and built by London Underground’s (LU) cooling team, the new system has a ventilation fan that pulls fresh air in from the street and is cooled by a water chiller system.

The chiller system circulates 16l of cold water every second around the pipes in the ventilation shaft, cooling the air by up to 7° before it is blown onto the platform.

The New Tube for London will bring the first walkthrough air-cooled trains onto the deep-level Tube network which includes the Central line, with the first trains scheduled to be introduced in the 2020s.

"By the end of 2016, 40% of the Underground network will be served by air-conditioned trains."

Until then, LU continues to seek new solutions to reducing temperatures during the summer months on the deep-level lines.

The other existing measures aimed at cooling the Tube include new air-conditioned trains on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, with 40% of the network covered by 2016.

The capacity of the station ventilation fan network has been doubled and 83 fans restored, and portable fans installed within ticket and concourse areas, to increase air circulation at a number of stations.

A cooling innovation centre has been created to explore new efficient and environmentally friendly methods to cool the Tube.

LU capital programmes director David Waboso said: "We know travelling around London during the summer months can be uncomfortable which is why we are always looking for innovative ways to tackle the temperature.

"Cooling the Tube is a big engineering challenge, but we’re making significant steps forward and, by the end of 2016, 40% of the Underground network will be served by air-conditioned trains.

"Projects like the installation of a fan chiller system at St Paul’s Tube station demonstrate how LU has some of the most skilled, creative people in the business when it comes to developing entirely new ways to cool London’s Tube."

Additionally, a larger fan chiller system is being installed this summer at a mid-tunnel ventilation shaft on the Victoria line between Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road Tube stations.

Work is being carried out to coincide with the period of major improvement works on the Victoria line this month which will allow the operation of 36 trains an hour next year.

According to TfL, the new fan chiller system will be ready for mid-2016 and mean more comfortable temperatures for passengers at the northern end of the Victoria line.


Image: St Paul’s tube station westbound platform looking east, after recent refurbishment. Photo: courtesy of Sunil060902 via Wikipedia.