LONDON UNDERGROUND operator Tube Lines is close to signing a new contract with Northern Line rolling stock supplier Alstom.
Tube Lines will sign a fresh contract that will increase the reliability of the line and give the two companies the same targets.
It said that the new contracts will allow intervention if train performance is below-par. 'We have all those agreements in principle.' The move comes after months of negotiations between Alstom and the operator following the meltdown of service on the Northern Line in October 2005.
Drivers refused to run the trains after the emergency brakes were found to have been badly maintained (NCE 20 October 2005).
Tube Lines inherited its contract with Alstom when the PPP Tube deal was signed four years ago.
Tube Lines has maintained that it must renegotiate this contract to provide the best service on the Northern Line. Alstom has to perform according to targets set 10 years ago, long before the newer and more stringent PPP contract was signed. Tube Lines argues that this anomaly has affected the performance of the line.