Cooling the Tube: How about Overheated Metros, a new theory explained

Calvin Posted on: 2020-02-16 06:11:29 Viewer: 1,120 Comments: 0 Country: United Kingdom City: London

Cooling the Tube: How about Overheated Metros, a new theory explained

Hang onto your handrail, if it’s not too hot, fellow tube users, I am just about to share my controversial theory about Cooling the Tube, which has resulted in some folk getting rather hot under the collar. Please stay aboard, because for the Cooling the Tube Project ever to be successful, there are fundamental points at issue that still need to be considered and resolved.  I am hoping that summarising my findings and research to date along with my interpretation of these, will initiate some serious and constructive debate among engineers, scientists and anyone with an interest in this matter. In this paper, I shall:

  • consider the extent of the problem, and how it affects passengers;
  • set out the circumstances that led me down this very different route;
  • identify the probable causes of the over-heating, based on my direct experiences, observations and temperature measurements;
  • discover how another underground network, conceptually similar, albeit with some subtle differences, fares with overheating; and
  • suggest possible solutions specifically for the configuration of London Underground’s infrastructure.

Finally – for the reader – there is an enlightening question to be considered! A well-defined problem is half solved – paraphrased from Charles Kettering. First, the very title of the project “Cooling the Tube” is a misnomer.  Consequently, the search for a solution to the problem has been misled.  The challenge is not simply “Cooling the Tube” or even “Cooling the Underground Network”: to be precise I would define it as “Cooling the Whole London Underground Network in the Summer”, since both overground and underground overheat in the summer!

Secondly, having spent years commuting on the Central Line and monitoring the seasonal temperature differences at various times of day, I came to the irrefutable conclusion that the trains were gaining more heat overground than underground in the summer. Let’s dispel the myth circulating that the Tube is hot all year round because in the winter passengers wear their thick coats and scarves while standing or sitting comfortably inside an electrically heated carriage.  Conversely, in the summer, passengers wear light clothing – yet are still frequently getting close to heat exhaustion during heatwaves and the hotter weather generally.

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