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01.04.15

New Tube for London ITT delayed until December 2015

The Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the New Tube for London (NTfL) project, which will provide 250 new trains for the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines, has been delayed until December 2015. 

The ITT was originally due to be issued at the end of February, but the delay has been confirmed in TfL’s Budget for 2015-16. The slippage has also been linked to the delay in the resignalling of the Subsurface Railway (SSR) lines, the completion date for which has been pushed back from 2018 to 2022. 

London Underground (LU) said last week that costs have risen by 30% to £5.54bn for the modernisation of the Circle, Metropolitan, District and Hammersmith & City lines. It is in the final stages of negotiations with Thales to implement Automatic Train Control (ATC) via a version of its Seltrac transmission-based moving-block signalling and control system, which is in use on the Jubilee and Northern lines. 

The higher price reflects the fact that it will now be a longer programme requiring additional infrastructure works – following the termination of the Bombardier contract

LU added: “The firm expectation is that the new price will be in line with, or below, the cost per kilometre of modernising the Northern Line signalling.” 

The exact timescales for the SSR resignalling will be subject to a rescheduling exercise once the ATC signal supply contract is formally re-let. But LU has said: “Customers will start to see the benefits of the work on the Circle line in 2021, with customers experiencing the full benefits across all lines in 2022.” 

Importantly, it added: “Once these four [SSR] lines have been completed, LU will then move on to buying new trains and control systems for the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo, and Waterloo & City lines.” 

RTM asked LU what impact this would have on the NfTL programme and the installation of the new Piccadilly signalling – which had been expected to begin in mid-2019. 

Although he didn’t mention the Piccadilly Line work specifically, Gareth Powell, LU’s director for strategy and service development, told RTM: “Due to the scale and complexity of our four line modernisation programme, which will provide faster and more frequent journeys for millions of customers and boost capacity by a third, there will be some minor impact to the timings of other programmes. 

“Milestones for the NfTL have moved by approximately six months, which will have a minimal impact to our customers.” 

Originally, the first of the NfTL fleet was expected to enter into service on the Piccadilly Line in 2023. However, from the latest announcements – especially if LU is only going to move on to buying new trains and control systems after the SSR upgrade is complete – this is likely to be delayed even further. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Liftfan3   15/05/2015 at 19:01

Well, at this rate the '72 and '73 stock are going to last 60 years! Good news for the '92s, since they would be scrapped before the life on them is up (In 2022, the '92s would only be 30!)

Gabriel   25/08/2016 at 00:55

As an alternative, TfL can order more 2009 stock currently used on the Victoria Line to replace the trains on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines. They are so nice and new!

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