A question we get asked a lot is why don’t Tube trains have Air Con. The number one reason is down to how Air Con works, it sucks in hot air, blows cool air back and expels hot air outside. Now this works fine if you are in a building as there is plenty of outside to send the hot air to and it will even work on the “cut and cover” Lines like the Circle and H&C which will be getting Air Con when the new S stock trains come in but on the deep levels with very little space it means that the heat stays in the tunnel. The tunnel is packed with equipment, signals, communications, safety, power, etc and if this stuff overheats it stops working; ever notice how we have more signal failures in the summer?
Another reason is that it would take up space inside the cars and we are packed out in the peak as it is. Ah you say, why not put it under the seats? Simple, there’s already stuff under there, do you really think with the limited size of a Tube train there’s an inch of space wasted? Next time you are sat on the Tube look up above the windows and you’ll see letters; DIC, DML, EPBIC, etc. This tells us what equipment is underneath your arse.
One suggestion is that we should dig shafts to the surface and have giant fans blowing cold air down, a lovely idea were it not for the fact that a lot of the deep level tunnels run under some of the most expensive property in the country, so buying it up might be a bit expensive and as we all know London and the country at large is skint right now.
Actually the question of why don’t we have Air Con is misleading; we do have Air Con on Tube trains but only in the driver’s cab. Hey, you try sitting in a tiny box surrounded by a ton of electrical equipment, in the summer you could fry eggs on the floor!