London Underground (LU) today selected Bombardier Transportation as the preferred bidder for a major signalling contract for the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines (Sub Surface lines).
The new signalling contract, when finalised, will be awarded following a statutory “standstill” period.
This contract signifies the start of the single biggest piece of work to upgrade the Tube. Coupled with a fleet of 191 new air-conditioned walk-through trains, already being rolled out on the Metropolitan line, when complete the new signalling system will mean customers can travel more quickly and frequently on all Sub Surface lines.
The upgrade will deliver 65% more capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, 24% more capacity on the District line and 27% more capacity on the Metropolitan line.
LU has also been working with and learning from other world metros, such as Madrid Metro, in order to develop innovative ways to upgrade the Tube in order to minimise disruption.
As a result, this contract provides for no weekend closures simply for signalling installation and testing work.
There will still be a need for weekend closures to upgrade track and platforms, however these will be contained in much smaller geographical areas and will not mean closures to full lines as has been experienced during previous upgrade work on other lines.
LU managing director Mike Brown said: “Throughout this process, it was imperative that not only would the contract offer value for fare payers’ and taxpayers’ money, but that the new signalling would be installed with less disruption.
“We know that full line closures are particularly disruptive to our customers and have been working closely with Madrid Metro to learn from their experience.
“As a result, we insisted that those bidding for this contract found innovative ways to deliver the new signalling system without the need for the level of closures we have seen on other lines, and I’m pleased Bombardier have committed to that.”