Vienna’s planned new turquoise U5 metro line will be driverless and fully automated – with the first section operational in 2023.A consortium of two young Viennese architect teams (YF Architects and Franz Architects) have won the job of designing the line, chosen out of 34 submissions after an EU-wide competition.
“Vienna is known for innovation on many levels. We’re pleased that two Viennese architects were successful, against strong competition from both home and abroad,” said city councillor Renate Brauner.
Construction of the new line will start in 2018, alongside work to extend the U2 line. The new stations should take the pressure off the overcrowded U6 line and the 43 tram line, and will mean shorter commute times for many travellers, without the need to switch lines.
Work on both lines will cost an estimated €950 million and provide jobs for around 16,000 people, Brauner said.
“Turquoise horizontal stripes will give the new U-Bahn stations a dynamic and contemporary design,” architect Robert Diem said. The platform and the tracks will separated by a glass wall, with doors which open automatically when the train arrives. All the new trains will be air-conditioned.
Driverless trains are championed as a way of avoiding human error and becoming more efficient. Similar lines, which don’t require any staff on board, exist in Paris, Barcelona and London.