Tube capacity to increase by 33 per cent after successful new signal testing

Posted: 6 December 2017 | | No comments yet

Biggest test to date expected to bring reliability, more frequent journeys and better quality in Tube experiences for passengers…

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Transport for London engineers have completed their biggest test to date of brand new signalling on Circle and Hammersmith & City lines that will bring more frequent and reliable journeys to forty per cent of the Tube network.

Engineers from TfL and Thales worked around the clock rigorously testing trains on a new computer-based signalling and control system. The first section of the Tube to go live with the new signalling system in 2018 will be between Hammersmith and Edgware Road.

Mark Wild, London Underground’s Managing Director, said: “This is a significant moment in our vital programme to revolutionise nearly half of the Tube.  Great progress is being made and, as early as next year, customers will start to see the most up-to-date customer information as the signalling is introduced. This programme is an important part of our multi-billion pound investment to overhaul some of the oldest parts of the Tube and improve journeys for our customers.”

The new Thales signalling and control system will allow trains to run closer together meaning a more frequent service and shorter waiting times. Similar technology, which means thousands more passengers can be carried each hour, is used on the Jubilee and Northern lines. Customers using the Victoria line are already experiencing the benefits of shorter waiting times following a separate upgrade of its signalling system which finished in May.

When the signalling upgrade is completed, customers will benefit from a massive boost in capacity during the busiest times. 17,500 more customers per hour will be able to travel on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, the District line will be able to take 10,000 more customers per hour and the Metropolitan line will be able to take 9,000 more customers per hour.

The upgrade programme is a significant part of the record investment being made by TfL to modernise the Tube network; boosting capacity and accessibility. The capacity increase will help to reach the target set by the Mayor that by 2041, 80 per cent of journeys made will be by public transport, cycling or walking.

Shaun Jones, Vice-President, Transport at Thales in the UK said: “This is another great achievement for our teams in creating a world-class transport network for London. Together, we are making great progress with testing our state-of-the-art radio communications technology on some of the oldest parts of the underground, which will deliver better, more reliable journeys on 40 per cent of the network for TfL customers”