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JLE signals face millennium deadline

THE JUBILEE Line Extension's state of the art signalling system may not be ready for the millennium, project director Hugh Doherty confirmed this week.

Additional work to upgrade a temporary system employing the fixed block method which operates on existing tube lines is now going ahead in parallel with software contractor Westinghouse's efforts.

'We've yet to conclude when the [new] moving block system will be ready,' said Doherty.

Failure to complete the moving block system before the planned September 1998 opening has prevented the £2.76bn JLE connecting into the existing line. Temporary hardware modifications will allow a fixed block system to operate, but Doherty confirmed that it will only achieve capacity of 17 trains an hour compared to 24 on the existing line and the possible 36 which the moving block system is meant to deliver.

However, once capacity on the new line can match that on the existing one, trains will run end to end, explained Doherty. 'We are looking at enhancing the present 17 trains an hour fixed block system to bring it up

to 24 trains an hour.'

The JLE must be running 'end to end' by September 1999 to service the Millennium Dome at Greenwich.

'There will not be a reliance on the moving block system to get through- running,' added Doherty. 'Westinghouse has given us forecasts that the moving block system will be ready - but we are looking at contingencies.'

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