If you’ve ever wondered what goes on when the lines are closed at weekends, this is a break-down from TfL of what’s happened in recent months, and the impact of the lockdown on the rail network.

(c) TfL

The lines

Bakerloo line

A second train with replaced LED lighting will be in service next month, with more to follow.

Central line

Two new Kirow cranes are now approved for use within Ruislip Depot supporting lifting and loading operations.

Siemens is continuing the design for the life extension of the Central line signalling and control systems.

Jubilee line

A new wheel lathe has been delivered to Stratford Market depot and the tender response for a signalling upgrade has been received and is being considered as part of the wider Jubilee line enhancements.

The current mobile phone coverage in the tunnels is being extended to the remaining five underground Jubilee line stations and associated tunnel sections – due to be completed by the end of Q2 2021.

Northern line

A new wheel lathe has been delivered to Morden depot and its commissioning is getting underway.

There was a 64-day pause on the Northern line extension project, but as they ate into an existing contingency, so long as there are no more shut-downs, they are still on target for an Autumn 2021 opening date.

Piccadilly line

Works on upgrading the line for new trains have been pushed back by six months. That means that the new trains will start to arrive before the line is ready to accept them, so the first time they will be seen in passenger service has been pushed back to April 2025 (from Oct 2024).

The final design of the new trains is expected to be signed off in Feb 2021 – lightly sooner than expected.

Victoria line

Works to replace the signalling system in the Northumberland Park depot has started, the concept design phase will be finalised in Quarter 2.

Subsurface lines

During Quarter 2 2019/20, the new signalling system was extended from Latimer Road to Euston Square on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, and from there to Finchley Road on the Metropolitan line, and to Paddington on the District and Circle lines.

The pandemic resulted in the suspension of District line operator training for the new systems, which may result in a further delay of the planned go-live date.

There is also an expectation that the switching on of the new signalling in the central area will be delayed.


Preparation work has started ahead of plans to replace 11 points and crossings units just outside Acton Town station over the Christmas period.


Delivery of a fleet of new trains has been pushed back, so TfL has revamped the works to upgrade the Beckton depot to handle the extra trains.

London Overground

Barking Riverside extension – although works were paused, and that will have an impact, they were able to allow a contractor to remove a series of pylons adjacent to the new railway viaduct, reducing one risk element to the completion date. The railway signalling upgrade planned for Easter has now been pushed back to December.

Design work for an increase of services to 18 trains per hour on the Enfield Town branch was completed, however, this project has been deferred as a result of the revised budget.



All four of the new escalator barrels in the new parts of the station are now completed, and escaaltors will start to be installed early next year. All but one of the additional new cross passages are now completed. Tunnelling is now nearly completed and by Quarter 3 the project will have completed all civil and tunnelling works.

Work has started on installing the support structures for the new moving walkways that will link the Northern and Central lines.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, the proposed window for the start of the Northern line (Bank branch) closure so that they can link the old tunnel to the new tunnel has been delayed to October 2021 – January 2022.

Barking Riverside

The main steel frame and platform canopy are complete, the lower canopy steelwork is well underway, and blockwork has started.

Battersea Power Station

The remainder of the roof slab of the new station box was handed over to the Battersea Power Station Development Company, to enable the continuation of the next phases of their oversite development


Design work on the upgrade has resumed, following the lockdown.


The shell of the new parts of the station has been built and is ready for fit out. The lockdown has delayed works and the opening date of the new Brompton Road entrance is being pushed back.

Seven Sisters

They are continuing to scope up the next phase of works for an Access for All scheme. This is funded from the DfT’s Access for All programme in conjunction with Network Rail.


Plans to add a south-western entrance have been paused.

Tottenham Hale

The existing Network Rail ticket gateline and associated structures have been demolished and excavations and foundation works have restarted

Walthamstow Central

Works, funded by a developer, have resumed on design work for station enhancement works, with planning application submission due later this year.

West Ham

Works started on a new entrance which is being funded/built by Berkeley Homes as part of a nearby housing development.

White Hart Lane

Completion of site works, mainly involving completion of urban realm, telecoms and safe strip out of the former station building, have been pushed back from May until September 2020.


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  1. HTFB says:

    According to that TfL infographic, the Overground has about 2.5x as much track as tunnel, but the Underground has 3x. So the Overground is more underground and the Underground is more overground.

  2. BRE says:

    This doesn’t explain to me at all why overground and both district and H&C are closed most weekends(if not all then one of them) at barking station?? The work mentioned on the subsurface lines is much farther west. Can’t imagine it’s to do with BR extension because c2c is running during those times.

    • ianvisits says:

      A mix of Crossrail works at Whitechappel and the subsurface line signalling upgrade affects the entire subsurface lines.

  3. Joel says:

    Thank you for the article. What changes are ACTUALLY taking place on the central line. I heard something about a wheelchair bay? Will some seats be removed from each carriage?

    Thank you

  4. Andrew Gwilt says:

    With London Overground who took over the Lea Valley Lines (Liverpool St-Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town routes) back in 2015 as well the Romford-Upminster branch line. And the Class 710s are now operating on those lines.

    Could London Overground order extra Class 710/1s to add more capacity on the Lea Valley Lines. Plus with extra Class 710/2s for the Euston-Watford DC Line and Gospel Oak-Barking Line. And 5-Car Class 710s for the North London Line and West London Line services.

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