London Underground has awarded Bombardier Transportation a contract valued at approximately £354m to upgrade the signalling on the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines.
Alongside a fleet of 191 new air-conditioned walk-through trains already being rolled out on the Metropolitan line, the new signalling system will enable passengers to travel more quickly and frequently on all of the subsurface lines, which together make up 40 per cent of the Tube network.
Overall, the upgrade, which is due for completion in 2018, will provide 24 per cent more capacity on the District line, 27 per cent more capacity on the Metropolitan line and 65 per cent more capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines.
London Underground has been working with and learning from other metros around the world in order to identify innovative ways to upgrade the Tube while minimising disruption.
As a result, Bombardier Transportation, which recently upgraded the signalling on the Madrid Metro, has committed to installing and testing its CITYFLO 650 automatic train control signalling system without any need for weekend closures.
There will still be a need for weekend closures to upgrade track and platforms, but these will not be the full line closures that have been experienced during previous upgrade work on other lines under the public-private partnership (PPP).
Mike Brown, London Underground’s managing director, said: ‘This is a major step forward in our plan to upgrade the Tube and will mean faster, more frequent and reliable Tube services across 40 per cent of the Tube network.
‘We know that line closures are disruptive to our customers and, as a result, we have insisted on the delivery of the new signalling system without the need for the kind of closures we have seen on other lines.’