Tube contractor Metronet has awarded Serco a contract to manage on its behalf the maintenance and operation of Britain's only dedicated rail test track.
Metronet has leased the Old Dalby test track, near Asfordby in Leicestershire, to prove the reliability of the next generation of air-conditioned Tube trains. These will be introduced to a third of London's Underground network from 2009.Serco, which operates the Docklands Light Railway, was previously responsible for managing the test track before Alstom took over.Metronet chief programmes officer, Stephen Hall, said: 'Serco has a proven track record in maintaining and operating such railway infrastructure as the Old Dalby test track. The high quality maintenance and operation we can expect from the organisation will ensure our programme delivers a reliable and robust new train fleet to the London Underground.'Metronet plans to electrify and use a 4km stretch of line that runs parallel to the main test track route, which is 21km and non-electrified.