Tube upgrade set to arrive five years late

August 5 2015  

Tube upgrade set to arrive five years late
Capacity on four London Underground lines is set to increase by a third – but five years later than first planned.
 
Transport for London announced on Monday that signalling will be modernised and train control systems upgraded on the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines by 2023, allowing a train to run every two minutes.
 
But the work had been due to complete by 2018 before a previous contract with Bombardier was terminated at the end of 2013.
 
Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross said: “The tube upgrade should have topped the Mayor’s list of priorities, but his failure to stay focused means that passengers will be left to contend with yet another five years of over stretched services.
 
“Upgrading the tube is undoubtedly the single most important transport project in London,” she added.
 
The new deal announced this week to upgrade signalling and control systems on the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines is worth £760M and has been signed with the transport systems provider Thales.
 
Transport for London’s overall budget for modernising the four tube lines is around £5.4Bn, which includes provision of new track, longer platforms, rebuilt train depots and 191 new air conditioned trains with walk through carriages.
 
Earlier this year Transport for London said that the budget for upgrading the four lines had increased 30% on its original £4.2Bn budget. But it added this was to provide “cover for a more realistic price” for the new signalling contract, a longer overall programme and additional infrastructure works and costs identified as necessary following termination of the Bombardier contract.
 
A Transport for London spokesman added: “Under the previous contract it had become clear that Bombardier was not going to meet its 2018 completion date and that there would be a considerable and potentially open ended overrun.”
 
London Underground’s managing director Nick Brown said that the new signalling and train control systems contract announced this week “will transform the journeys of millions” and significantly increase reliability and frequency of services.
 
“We have a very clear delivery plan and timetable for the work,” he added.
 
Thales chairman Patrice Caine said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Transport for London. Our technology is in operation on over 80 metro lines in 40 of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong.”
 
(Photo: Transport for London)

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