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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
No winners in cool Tube challenge
Tube trains often carry 1,000 passengers each
Temperatures on Tube trains can reach 30C
Judges in a competition launched during the 2003 heat wave to design a cooling system for London's underground have been unable to find a winner.

Of the 3,500 entries, not one was original and workable, said London Underground (LU) director Tim O'Toole.

He said it demonstrates cooling the Tube is "a very complex issue".

Despite the results, LU launched its annual Beat the Heat campaign and said tens of millions of pounds would be invested to address Tube temperatures.

The winner of the competition launched by London mayor Ken Livingstone would have received 100,000 in prize money.

Unfortunately, no one has come up with a practical, workable solution
Tim O'Toole, London Underground director

LU has long grappled with the problem of how to reduce heat in the narrow tunnels - some built more than a century ago - which lie up to 60 metres below ground.

Temperatures can top 30C (90F) in the deep tunnels of the network, according to a 2002 survey conducted by Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake.

Among the ideas were handing out ice-lollies, turning the Tube into a Venetian-style oasis, and putting up posters of snowmen to make people think of winter.

Mr O'Toole said: "We were amazed at the number of entries to the Cooling the Tube competition.

'Carry water'

"Unfortunately, no one has come up with a practical, workable solution beyond anything we have already examined or were working on."

The programme for this summer includes a poster campaign reminding passengers to carry a bottle of water, stay off the Tube if unwell and avoid pulling the passenger alarm between stations.

LU said they will introduce the first air-cooled trains on the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines in 2009.

More than 150 of London's buses will benefit from new ventilation and 1,000 buses will be given more opening windows on the top deck.

Close of cool Tube competition
12 Sep 03 |  London
Tube heat is snow problem
18 Aug 03 |  London
Cool the Tube and win 100k
16 Jul 03 |  Magazine
Tube slowdown as heat continues
07 Aug 03 |  London

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