London is getting a new commuter rail train, to be designed by Barber & Osgerby, the industrial design studio behind the blinged-out London Olympic torch, the money-saving redesign of Virgin Atlantic’s meal tray, and Oxford Library’s classy chairs.
The design duo, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, have just won a competition held by Transport for London (TfL) to design the interiors, exteriors, and livery for trains on the new Crossrail line, which will be up and running by 2017. Through new underground tunnels, the 62-mile railway will provide more links through London from west to east, connecting Reading and Heathrow with Shenfield and Abbey Wood. It will be connected at several stations with existing London Underground and Overground networks.
The trains will have nine air-conditioned cars that can fit a total of 1,500 passengers. They’ll feature information systems that provide passengers with real-time information about London transit, so they can more easily plan their journeys.
Barber & Osgerby’s challenge will be channeling an aesthetic that honors London transport’s design heritage–the red buses, the tubes–while also modernizing it. They haven’t yet released images of the trains, so we’ll just have to use our imaginations for now.