Sub-surface contract award imminent following cancellation of previous arrangement
London Underground has confirmed that Thales is to carry out resignalling of the sub-surface lines.
LU says it is ‘entering the final stages of negotiation’ with the company to deliver automatic train operation on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.
The plan will use an ‘improved version’ of the Thales system currently in use on the Jubilee and Northern Lines, allowing improvements in service frequency. LU says trains will run up to every four minutes on the Circle Line and up to every two minutes across the central parts of the sub-surface network.
The news follows the termination by LU of the previous contract for resignalling the lines, which had been awarded to Bombardier. LU says the ‘complex nature of the railway’ meant that the programme ‘was simply not progressing and there was no guarantee it would have worked’.
Under the previous contract, LU intended to complete the modernisation programme by 2018, but has now announced that the full benefits across all four lines will not be realised until 2022.
LU says the budget for the modernisation of the lines is now £5.54 billion, a 30% increase on the original estimate, which it says provides cover for ‘a more realistic price for the new signalling contract’ as well as a longer overall programme, additional infrastructure works and costs ‘identified as necessary to the modernisation following the termination of the Bombardier contract’. This figure includes the cost of the 191 new ‘S’ stock trains, being built by Bombardier and introduced on the lines, new track, lengthened platforms and rebuilt depots, as well as the resignalling.
LU says it has a ‘firm expectation’ that the new price for the resignalling will be ‘in line with, or below, the cost per kilometre of modernising the Northern Line signalling, and a much lower cost than the Jubilee and Victoria Line modernisations’.
Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said: ‘We are all focused on getting the next major phase of modernisation underway as soon as possible so all of our passengers, across the city, can get the type of modern Underground which we already are seeing on other parts of the network.’