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Better trains and signalling top Tube bidders' agenda

BETTER TRAINS and signalling are top priority, preferred bidders selected for the London Underground (LUL) deep Tube lines upgrade said this week.

Tubelines, which starts work on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly (JNP) line upgrades towards the end of the year, said it would spend £2bn in the first seven years.

Initial spending will target the maintenance backlog, refurbishing the 18 year old Piccadilly Line trains and improving signalling pinch points to reduce train platform waiting times.

Chief executive Iain Coucher hopes that better maintenance and control will allow Tubelines to reduce speed restrictions on the lines.

Larger capital works will focus on introducing a transmission based signalling system on all three lines.

'We can do that without having to access the lines, ' said Coucher, 'and we can use the old system in parallel with the new.

That way we will always have a fallback.'

Other capital projects would include introducing Automatic Train Protection systems, modernisation of priority stations and total track replacement within 15 years.

Metronet, preferred bidder for the BCV contract, said it planned to focus on train upgrades and signal pinch points.

It will look at installing moving block signalling in the future.

This will be in parallel with station refurbishments and a major upgrade of the Victoria line.

Metronet said its first priority was to carry out strict risk assessment surveys on all work being carried out by LUL's BCV Infraco, which Metronet will officially acquire after contract close in the autumn.

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