London Underground customers are set to benefit from quicker and more reliable journeys after TfL completed significant upgrade work during the festive break as part of its record investment to modernise the Tube.
The complex and intricate work saw TfL engineers:
- install cabling on over 3.5km of track to support the new Wi-Fi-based signalling system that allows trains to run closer together and gives more frequent service and shorter waiting times for customers;
- replace three track junctions at Earl’s Court, which will allow trains to pass through more quickly;
- installed two new, low vibration track junctions to connect the new Northern Line Extension tunnels to the existing Northern line at Kennington via two large step plate junctions;
- complete track improvement work to make journeys smoother and more reliable;
- replace over 100 planks that support the rails on junctions around Wimbledon and Wimbledon Park stations to improve reliability;
- clear over 100 tonnes of scrap material and rotten vegetation at trackside, helping maintain reliability and reducing future maintenance costs.
Customers will benefit from this huge amount of work and investment later this year when the first section of the new signalling system goes live between Hammersmith and Latimer Road and when the new Hammersmith Control Centre opens.
The work to introduce new signalling on four lines – the Hammersmith & City, District, Circle and Metropolitan – means that journeys will be improved across 40 per cent of the London Underground network. Journeys will be made quicker, less crowded and more reliable, with capacity on the lines increasing by 33 per cent.
The modernisation is a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place. It will help deliver the Mayor’s target of 80 per cent of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.
Work continues apace on the Northern Line Extension with the building of new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms progressing well.
Significant progress is also being made with plans to introduce 250 new air conditioned trains on the ‘Deep Tube’ as TfL announced that it expects to award the contract for the new trains later this year.
The new walk-through trains on the ‘Deep Tube’ lines, starting with the Piccadilly line, will deliver faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys, as well as increasing capacity on the:
- Piccadilly line by 60 per cent – the equivalent of up to 21,000 customers per hour
- Bakerloo line by 25 per cent – the equivalent of up to 9,000 customers per hour
- Central line by 25 per cent – the equivalent of up to 12,000 customers per hour
- Waterloo & City line by 50 per cent – the equivalent of up to 7,000 customers per hour.
Mark Wild, TfL’s Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The work we completed over the festive period was incredibly complex and I thank customers for their patience whilst our engineers worked around the clock to carry it out. This work is part of our record investment in the Tube, which will see over forty per cent of the network radically improved with more frequent trains, quicker journeys and better reliability and the first major extension to the Tube network since the 1990s.”