Architects propose replacing London Underground’s Circle Line with giant travelators

Debate rages on between Transport for London and relevant trade unions as to the future of the capital’s infamous Underground system, but this is perhaps the most outlandish proposal we’ve heard so far. A London-based Architecture firm have proposed replacing the entire Circle Line… with high-speed travelators.

The yellow line (that indeed is no longer actually a circle but now a spiral) is more prone to delays than any other line on the Underground, runs for 17 miles. And the architects behind the idea claim that a moving walkway instead of train tracks would shorten journey times, increase capacity and improve the health of travellers.

Passengers would step from slow-moving 3mph walkways onto a ‘slow lane’ that would travel at the same speed through stations, but accelerate to between 6-9pmh through tunnels, which would be lit. In a similar system to a motorway, there would also be a ‘middle lane’ with a top speed of 12mph, and a ‘fast lane’ maxing out at 15mph.

Think Tank New London Architecture asked for ideas to improve daily life in London, and so the firm started looking at ways to decrease journey times. A Circle Line train at the moment takes about an hour to complete a full loop – but someone walking 3mph in the ‘fast lane’ could do the same journey in about 56 minutes. It’s also calculated that up to 55,000 could use the line at any one time.

Author Lex Barber


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