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LU begins search for new Jubilee and Northern line train supplier

London Underground (LU) has started it search for a supplier to provide 68 additional trains for the Jubilee and Northern lines. 

A notice has been placed with the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) seeking expressions of interest to supply new trains, which will support Tube services for the proposed Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea. 

The programme for additional trains will see up to 18 extra trains acquired for the Jubilee line; and up to 50 trains for the Northern line – five for the proposed Northern Line extension to Battersea and 45 to increase frequencies on the rest of the line. 

A formal Invitation to Tender is expected to be issued in early 2015. It is expected that the additional trains, alongside new signalling systems, will help LU meet the challenge of London’s growing population – set to increase from 8.2 million today to around 10 million by 2030 – by increasing capacity in central London on the Jubilee line by 13% and on the Northern line by 25%. 

Gareth Powell, director of strategy & service development for LU, said: “When these extra trains are in service by 2021, central London customers will benefit from at least 30 trains per hour on the Northern Line and at least 34 trains per hour on the Jubilee Line during peak times.  

“By combining the orders for new trains for two lines we will ensure that their delivery represents value for money for our customers.” 

The new trains are part of a huge programme of modernisation being carried out by LU, with major stations, trains, track and signalling being modernised or replaced to provide more capacity for a growing city. 

Redevelopment work to increase capacity at key stations and make them step-free, is already underway at a number of stations including Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street and more than half of London Underground's 270 stations have now been modernised or refurbished. 

The original ‘prior information notice’ for the new rolling stock, back in April, said: “To support the planned upgrade of the Jubilee and Northern Lines and extension of Northern Line service to Battersea, TfL currently intends to purchase between 11 and 63 tube trains in six- or seven-car formation. It is anticipated that the trains will be required to substantially replicate the gauging and functionality of the existing Jubilee and Northern Line rolling stock in the form of a ‘modern equivalent vehicle’. Apart from specific differences associated with infrastructure and operating differences, the new trains are expected to be of generally the same gauge and specification for each line. TfL may also include certain upgrades to the existing fleet on the Jubilee and/or Northern Lines within the contract.” 

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