Saturday 1 March 2014

Richard Tracey says “Accelerating driverless trains on the underground would cut the huge £141M annual tube driver wage bill. Ultimately this will help bear down on fares for Londoners and pay for vital progress like 24 hour trains and flexible ticketing.”

All very nice except we’ll be running Night Tube from autumn next year and the first line to go fully NoPO won’t be until ten years after.  As for the cutting the wage bill…..

If by 2033 30% of trains will be driverless let’s assume there will be a proportional reduction in TOps, cutting the wage bill to around £100m which is a fairly impressive saving.  However Mike Brown has said that while trains will not have drivers they won’t be unstaffed, there will be the new grade of Train Attendant who will carry out the same function as the PSAs on the DLR.  PSAs get around £36k, roughly 75% of what TOps get so let’s say that TAs will be on a similar salary which means that the wage bill will only be cut by 7.5% to £130m.

So every year LUL will save what Wayne Rooney makes in 8 months.  Terrific.


  1. Meanwhile, the cost of making the lines (not just the trains) "capable of full automation" (which London Reconnections suggests means full UTO, which would be even more pointless if we'll have TAs, but even if it's just DLR-style NoPO) will be - in the words of Luke Skywalker - 'well more wealth than you can imagine.'

  2. Let's hope the driverless trains can "decelerate" too.

  3. A train carrying 800 passengers isn't expensive because the driver is paid £25 per hour to drive it.