Safer Local Tube Services On Schedule to Begin This Summer

New control centre for all four lines in Hammersmith now up and running

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Thales Group


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TFL says plans for improved local tube services are on schedule to begin this summer, with a new control centre in Hammersmith now up and running.

A new signalling system, which was successfully tested last weekend will lead to a safer and more reliable service, beginning this summer on the section of the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines between Hammersmith and Latimer Road.

After extensive testing by Thales, supported by the TfL project team, the trial was the first time that operational Tube staff used the new system.

It involved staff operating six out-of-service trains under the new signalling system between Hammersmith and Latimer Road.

After the local launch, the Four Lines Modernisation Project will introduce the new signalling system in stages, and will transform nearly half the network when complete in 2023.

TfL says the programme will greatly improve reliability, capacity and customer information on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, and will ultimately benefit hundreds of thousands of customers every day.

The lines will have more capacity than they currently provide due to an increase in train frequency from 28 to 32 trains per hour in the central London section.

The new, state-of-the-art control centre for all four lines at Hammersmith has also been completed and is now operational.

The centre brings together operations and asset teams under one roof in order to ensure a smoother and more integrated service and more accurate, up-to-date customer information. IT will replace some of the oldest equipment on the Underground network, including a signal box at Edgware Road that was built in 1926.

Stuart Harvey, TfL's Director of Major Projects, said: "The new, modern signalling system on these lines will transform our customers' experiences for the better.

"It's hugely exciting that the Hammersmith Service Control Centre is now operational and the successful trials on the first part of the network to operate under the system means we are close to introducing real improvements for our customers on some of the oldest parts of the Tube network."

The Four Lines Modernisation project will finish in 2023, when all four lines are operating completely under the new Thales system.

Services will begin to increase in frequency from 2021, when the central London section of the network has been modernised. The sub-surface lines carry over 1.3 million customers per day.

This month it was also revealed by our sister site that TfL is proposing a major restructuring of local underground services, which would see the District line service to Ealing Broadway ended and services switched to new trains running on the Piccadilly line.

The rolling stock from the Ealing Broadway line would transfer to the Richmond and Wimbledon branches of the District line, allowing an increase in regularity for these services.

These plans were revealed in an internal report stating the case for the purchase of new rolling stock for the 'Deep Tube' which includes the Piccadilly line.

This report, due to be considered by a procurement committee later this month would involve the design, manufacture and purchase of 94 new trains, along with the necessary new infrastructure and enabling works to run them. Current Piccadilly line trains have in some cases been in service for over 40 years.

If these plans were implemented it would mean that close to 40 trains per hour would be running through Hammersmith to Ealing Broadway, instead of the current 12 - 13.

The new Piccadilly line rolling stock would be scheduled for delivery in August 2023 and go into service by early 2024. This would mean 27 trains per hour runnig on the Piccadilly by 2026 and 36 per hour rin the longer term. New trains would be slightly longer and have more interior space than today.

Customers on Hammersmith's three other lines meanwhile are already benefitting from more comfortable journeys thanks to the introduction of the S-stock fleet from Bombardier, which feature more spacious, walk-through carriages, wider doors and air conditioning.

Other projects, such as the new Northern and Jubilee line timetables and the opening of the Elizabeth line later this year, will also play their part in enabling more people to use public transport in order to reach the Mayor's target of 80% of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.


May 23, 2018