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 across the rail network.

A lot of projects were put on hold either due to the pandemic itself, or the financial fallout from it, but essential maintenance has to continue, and existing upgrades completed.

The details below generally covers the period of Jan-March 2021.

The lines

Bakerloo line

A Bakerloo line train is currently at Acton maintenance shed having wheelchair bays installed for a trial. A second train, with new LED lighting throughout, is scheduled to enter service in May 2021.

Central line

Plans to replace the train arrestors at Epping remain outstanding due to cold weather on the planned weekend in February.

New one-person operation CCTV cameras on platforms have been installed at Leytonstone, Stratford, West Ham and Holborn stations.

Embankment strengthening works between Grange Hill and Chigwell have started. The Uninterruptable Power Supply equipment at Wood Lane Control Centre was replaced, removing a critical risk to the railway.


Construction of the new trains is now underway, with the first trains due for delivery in 2023 for testing on the network. Expansion works at Beckton depot have started, with the northern sidings due for completion early next year.

Thales signalling software development for the route signalling modifications required for the introduction of the replacement trains has started.

Northern line

TfL has completed the Northern Line Speed Improvement Works with enhanced signalling software, which will soon let them improve run times, reliability and functional improvements, and prepares the railway for the introduction of the new timetable when the Northern line extension opens in autumn 2021.

The Northern line rolling stock team has also completed the decommissioning of redundant legacy signalling assets from all Northern line trains.

Trial operations of the Northern line extension planned for July 2021, and passenger service is now confirmed as planned for September 2021.

London Overground

On the Barking Riverside extension, all piling, pile caps and pier walls have been completed and the remaining one deck span was successfully lifted into position over Easter 2021.

They are currently working towards autumn 2022 for the extension to open, subject to securing Network Rail processions to connect the tracks and signalling.

Piccadilly line

TfL has started on site with depot upgrade works at South Harrow sidings, where they will be introducing four additional stabling roads, to allow upgrades at Northfields and Cockfosters to allow upgrades.

Sub-surface lines

At the beginning of March, the new signalling for the Four Lines Modernisation programme went live between Monument, Euston Square and Stepney Green. The signalling system was later extended from Monument to Sloane Square.

Apart from being able to run more trains, the new signalling system also allows trains to run faster – for example, a journey between Paddington and Moorgate would be reduced by 2 minutes. The first timetable changes are expected to go live in September.

Dynamic testing of the east end of the District line and the remaining migration areas will in future complete the Circle line. On the Metropolitan line, significant work in the Neasden area has also advanced readiness for testing of the first section, extending future operation beyond Finchley Road.

The first Metropolitan line S8 stock train has been lifted into heavy overhaul and the first bogies built

TfL Rail

Following upgrades and some going works, the transition of the Stratford to Shenfield service to nine-car services is expected to take place from September 2021.

Victoria line

The Victoria line fleet overhaul is continuing to plan and is now 75 per cent complete.

The stations

Bank station

Installation of track in the new southbound tunnel has started after a side tunnel was dug between the old and new tunnels to allow deliveries. Cabling works have started in all areas, while installation of primary cable management and ventilation systems are approaching completion.

Preparations to install the escalators are now under way.

Battersea Power Station station

They’ve recently completed a 24-hour test run on escalators that will take customers from the ticket hall to platform level. The central roof and western side of the Eastern Head House are also finished, along with ticket machines. The gatelines are nearly completed.

Colindale station

A design contract was awarded in September 2020 and is due to be completed during Q1 2021/22. The design is progressing.

Elephant & Castle station

TfL is working on plans to take advantage of the Northern line closure for the Bank station upgrade to start some early enabling works for the new E&C station box.

Kennington station

They’ve opened four new cross passages at Kennington station, which will speed up transferring between different branches of the Northern line.

Knightsbridge station

Work to fit out the two new entrances has begun and manufacture of the three lifts to make the station step free has been instructed.

Ladbroke Grove

Kensington and Chelsea has agreed to fund a feasibility study into providing step-free access at the station.

Old Street station

Demolition works for the new main station entrance was completed on 2 March 2021 The new main station entrance substructure works are currently in progress ahead of the superstructure works commencing from early July 2021.

The other new station entrance at Cowper Street is on track to be opened in August 2021.

Paddington station

Demolition of the old half of the ticket hall is now complete, which will enable piling works to take place to create the new lift shaft. Work on the new station structures to extend the Bakerloo line ticket hall is under way and is due for completion in early summer 2022.

South Kensington station

Piccadilly line trains are not stopping while escalator works are under way.

Tottenham Hale station

Roofing works have been completed and external glazing and cladding works are in progress. The internal fit has now begun.

West Ham station

Enabling works adjacent to the Jubilee line track are ongoing for a new entrance to be built, preparing the area for piling which is due to begin later in 2021.


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  1. Jack says:

    Any news on the 4G role out beyond the JLE?

  2. zin92 says:

    “processions” should be “possessions”?


  3. 100andthirty says:

    I always appreciate your summary of the verbose TfL papers for the meetings. I wonder whether the panel members read your document(!)?

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