Latest Rail News

12.08.16

Night Tube set for weekend testing ahead of official launch

The much-delayed Night Tube is all set to be tested this weekend ahead of its official launch on 19 August – almost a year after the original debut date.

The 24-hour Tube service will be trialled today and tomorrow on the Victoria and Central lines after the last Tube runs to ensure it doesn’t disrupt normal passenger services.

A TfL spokesman said: “The trains will involve operational staff – station and train staff – and no customers so it will be behind closed doors.”

It will initially go live on Central and Victoria next week and will then begin operating on the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines in two phases over the autumn, once new drivers are trained. When the new launch date was announced back in May, around 200 part-time drivers were taking part in a 14-week training programme.

The anticipated night-time service will feature six trains per hour on all Night Tube lines between 12:30am and 05:30am – increasing to eight per hour on the Northern Line to meet demand at busy stations between Leicester Square and Camden Town.

It is also expected to slash evening journey times by an average of 20 minutes, with some trips cut by more than an hour.

Originally announced in 2014 and scheduled to go live in September 2015, the 24-hour service suffered a string of setbacks as all unions were stuck in talks with London Underground management over pay issues.

When the new launch date was agreed under mayor Sadiq Khan’s leadership, London’s transport commissioner, Mike Brown, said: “It is good news for London that the first ever all-night Tube service will be ready on 19 August.

“More than half a million people use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and the introduction of the Night Tube, which will support London's businesses and jobs, is a historic step in our modernisation of the Underground and our work to support London’s economic growth.”

(Top image c. Tim Ireland, PA Images)

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