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News: easyJet twilight check-in at Glasgow, first photos of new Piccadilly Line tube trains

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News in brief:

easyJet extends twilight check-in to Glasgow Airport

easyJet has launched a twilight check-in service at Glasgow Airport. This allows passengers to drop off their bags the night before they fly, allowing them to head straight to security the following morning. It is especially useful for anyone staying in an airport hotel.

easyJet is, it claims, the European leader in twilight check-in with the service now available at seven airports.

The Glasgow service operates from 4pm to 9pm, for flights departing before 8.30am.

The other airports where easyJet offers this are:

  • London Gatwick – 8pm to 10pm for flights before 8am
  • Manchester – 6pm to 9pm for flights before 8.30am
  • Bristol – 6pm to 9pm for flights before 8.30am
  • Edinburgh – 4pm to 9pm for flights before noon
  • Amsterdam – 7pm to 9pm for flights before 8am
  • Berlin – 6pm to 9pm for flights before 9.30am
new piccadilly line train

TfL unveils first images of the new Piccadilly Line tube trains

Transport for London has released photographs of the first Piccadilly Line train to be completed from the 94 currently on order.

The train, manufactured by Siemens, is in Germany for testing after being assembled in Austria. Part of the order will be assembled at a new site in Goole.

new piccadilly line train

These trains will be taking you to Heathrow from 2025. The carriages will be walk-through and will have air conditioning. They are substantially lighter than the 1973 stock they will replace and so are far more energy efficient.

Unfortunately the Government has refused to fund the parallel Piccadilly Line signalling upgrade. Whilst the trains are capable of running very close together, to maximise services per hour, this won’t be happening for many years.

TfL is hoping to gain funding to allow an order for replacement Bakerloo Line trains, using the same design, to follow on from these deliveries.

Comments (81)

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  • Chris says:

    Glasgow Easyjet twilight check-in is a nice idea but useless if it is only for flights departing <8:30am the next day. Almost all of the flights operated by Easyjet at that time of the morning are domestics (LGW, STN, BHX etc). I imagine the majority of those pax have hand luggage only or limited baggage.

    This would be far more useful to take the stress out of the family-type holiday to ALC, TFS, KGS etc. All of those operate later in the day and wouldn't be eligible.

    Jet2 on the other hand…they have many early morning flights to sun destinations popular with families and twilight check-in will be much more attractive.

  • Lady London says:

    So where’s all the ULEZ and Congestion Zone money going if it”s not enough to fund the line management computer systems that will make better use of rails and train eqpt as well? ISTR one of the Central Line system upgrades ended up taking 10 years or something. So might as well start now…

    • Londonsteve says:

      It’s going to Capita to fund the operation of the CC and ULEZ. While the CC might generate a positive income flow for TFL, ULEZ is barely going to be able to wash its own face as people get out of non-compliant vehicles. I can see what’s coming: the ‘success’ of the scheme will result in a new target, namely, cars in the highest road tax bracket also having to pay ULEZ (of which there are a great deal driving around London, especially in the smarter parts). They, along with minicabs, black cabs and delivery vans effectively form London traffic. You seldom see a private car on the road that ISN’T a Range Rover, Mercedes S-class or a Lamborghini, anything lesser generally has the private hire roundel in the window indicating it’s a minicab. Considering the ULEZ is a low emissions zone, these polluting cars should have been scoped in from the outset and ULEZ would have a steady income stream guaranteed in the years ahead.

  • Ben says:

    The government should have funded upgraded signalling so the trains could be driverless.

    • Amy C says:

      It would take more than that. They simply don’t have the money and I can’t see that happening for decades.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      You are aware there already are driverless trains on the underground? Central, Victoria, plus the DLR. You still have a member of staff on the train though, so you don’t save any money of note.

      • Sharka says:

        Because the unions insist on it. For example, on the Central Line the only thing that the driver does Monday-Saturday is open and close the doors: on Sunday, because of union insistence to avoid the obvious argument, they may do something else. The drivers get £70k+ for this door-opening, 6+ weeks holidays, a defined benefit pension and an agreement that, if Tube driving were to be removed, they would be reassigned on the same conditions to another TfL job. Is it not clear why TfL has a deficit and the taxpayer has a subsidy to pay?

        • northernline says:

          I’m afraid you are incorrect.
          “Because the unions insist on it.” – unions have never “insisted” on it because it has never been proposed as a realistic project. Only the DfT (very recently) has asked for it to be looked at, and the latest estimates showed it would take longer than 40 years for the capital investment to offset the savings in drivers’ salaries.

          “On the Central Line the only thing that the driver does Monday-Saturday is open and close the doors”
          The driver on automatic lines is still trained and qualified to drive the train manually should the need arise, which happens relatively frequently. For example the signalling system on the Central line tends to break when it rains in open sections, the driver takes over. The driver is responsible for identifying and fixing faults on ageing train stock, as they’re the only qualified person on the train to do so.

          “The drivers get £70k+ for this door-opening”
          The salary for all full time drivers is £63,901. There is no overtime or bonuses available apart from working Boxing Day.

          “6+ weeks holidays”
          The annual leave allowance is 28 days. The additional days each year are for the 8 bank holidays, and 7 banked rest days due to working 36 hours a week and being paid for 35. This leave dates are allocated by management.

          “a defined benefit pension”
          A healthy pension which produces a surplus each year and allows people to retire comfortably after spending 40+ years in a tunnel.

          “an agreement that, if Tube driving were to be removed, they would be reassigned on the same conditions to another TfL job”
          No such agreement exists. There is an expectation that if grades change, staff are redeployed wherever possible, rather than being made redundant, but there’s no agreement of any sort like what you mention.

          “Is it not clear why TfL has a deficit and the taxpayer has a subsidy to pay?”
          The wage bill of Tube drivers is less than 5% of TfL’s annual operating costs. TfL has a deficit (not LU though which generates a surplus, which goes to fund other loss-making modes of transport, mainly buses) which is caused by a lack of interest or funding from central government which is unparalleled for any major city’s transport system worldwide.

        • Amy C says:

          Oh dear Sharma,

          I suggest you listen to Northern Line and stop parroting what the Daily Fail inaccurately report on an almost weekly basis. Your post could have been lifted straight from their maddening and highly ignorant comment section.

          • Alf says:

            northernline has done a far better job of accurately reporting what is typically not accurately reported in the Daily Mail comments section: £64k and 43 days holiday a year (7 of which are for working 36 hours a week instead of 35 hours a week). Cry me a river. And as if working on the underground for 40 years can be assimilated to working down the pits. Now that’s a proper job. Although in this day and age pit workers might find themselves being slammed for ‘blacking up’ if there were more of them.

          • Rob says:

            Yet, bizarrely, I doubt anyone on here would take £64k for a job where you’d be working random shifts, including all night at weekends on some lines, and requiring being in for 4am-ish most days or finishing at 1am.

            I would be shocked if, for example, there is a single plumber in London earning under £65k for a more 9-5 life.

          • Sharka says:

            My source was not The Daily Mail. As I understand it, one impediment to automation (other than union opposition) is that you would need to fit screens on other deep lines as on the Jubilee extension and this is hard to do, not least with curved platforms. The T&C set out by nothernline seem fiscally unsustainable (as Alf comments): there will be changes.

            This site was much better back in the original days in which the comments were all about arbitraging FF schemes: the comments started to go a bit off track during Covid lockdowns and have not really recovered.

          • Amy C says:

            Sharka, nice pun there re “off track” but no acknowledgement of your inaccurate spouting or it’s source. There are so many reasons why I can’t see it happening I’d be here all day listing them, but the union argument is the least of them. These are deep tunnels. You want a truly driverless experience? Who is going to help evacuate you from a stranded train down there? What if passengers start self evacuating onto live rails? I don’t know how the far more modern subterranean driverless railways work abroad but I bet they aren’t half as deep and probably use OHE rather than 4th rail current. Then there’s the little problem of people throwing themselves in front of trains all the time (or attempting to). To prevent this you’d need platform doors at every single station. Vast cost and upheaval.

  • Amy C says:

    *OLE not OHE

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