As part of their bi-monthly meetings, TfL releases details about upgrades to the services it manages, often offering insights into otherwise unreported events.
The tube lines
The following lines have seen works over the past couple of months.
Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
As part of the signalling upgrade, the Edgware Road/Paddington signal equipment room is ready to be handed over to the supplier, Thales. It is the second of 50 of these rooms to be handed over for fit-out of the signalling equipment.
At Hammersmith depot, 13 manually-operated sets of points were replaced with more reliable machinery and a control box that is the first of its kind on the Underground. Six kilometres of signal cable have been installed.
At Paddington, power cabling has been installed ready for the new crossover track.
Fitting the signalling system to the first passenger train is now largely complete. Testing of the upgraded train systems continues.
Last summer, at Putney Bridge, Platform 2 was widened and extended so trains can arrive and depart faster, with a much straighter platform alignment. All the train doors can now also open at the extended platform.
At Earl’s Court, over the Christmas period, several hundred metres of track was renewed.
Three train manufacturers have submitted bids for the new generation of rolling stock on the Piccadilly line. The supplier negotiation and contract award remain on target for autumn 2017.
Re-signalling work is due to start from 2020 with the new trains arriving from 2023. The new signalling and train control system is due to be in place on the Piccadilly line from 2026.
The new train fleet and signalling will boost capacity by around 60 per cent for peak service in the central sections of the Piccadilly line.
Some of the track circuits at Northumberland Park depot were replaced over the Christmas period and are part of the programme to increase the peak frequency of Victoria line services to 36 trains per hour by May 2017.
TfL has also commissioned 12 out of 20 modifications to the signalling system and plans to commission the remaining modifications at Easter. All necessary power and cooling works have also been completed.
Power and cooling works are going as planned. Signalling design for the upgrade of the crossover at West Hampstead is complete, and the replacement work is programmed for two weekend closures in January and February 2017. Delivery of 36 trains per hour remains on target for 2020.
Jubilee line trains are also undergoing some modifications, particularly to improve accessibility, particularly for wheelchair users. All the trains are scheduled to be refurbished by the end of August 2019.
TfL has started work on refurbishing the underframe of the tube trains to keep them running safely and reliably until the line is upgraded.
Earlier plans called for one train to be refurbished at a time, but this has been changed to 2 trains out of action at any time, to speed up the works. They are refurbishing 36 trains in priority order, depending on their condition, with eight already completed.
Almost all the work takes place underneath the train, so little will be seen by customers. However, one significant change is the new flooring in contrasting brown and beige to make it compliant with Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations. The line is also getting new seat covers in new material.
The Elizabeth line’s first Class 345 train was delivered on 9 December, ready for test running on the Shenfield line. The testing will be largely carried out at night, with the first few tests already completed.
Bombardier has already built five new trains out of a total of 66 and production continues at its Derby factory.
The Beckton Depot Concept Design (RIBA Stage 2) tender evaluation is complete and the contract award is due in March 2017. The finalised design parameters for the new DLR trains will be released in March.
The railway stations
The following stations have seen works over the past couple of months.
The new northern entrance opened on 16th January, offering a direct link down to the Victoria line, and later a new tunnel will open linking it to the Circle line.
Tottenham Court Road
The north plaza glass entrance and the refurbished Dominion Theatre entrance have opened. Passengers are also using the new Central line interchange tunnel.
Demolition of the above ground worksite has continued, with all five buildings now demolished. Construction of the new station box for Bank station is about to begin. The Arthur Street worksite set-up is complete and construction of the access shaft for the tunnelling works is also starting.
Relocation of the existing high voltage transformers on the Central line is progressing. The foot passageway that was temporarily closed has now been reopened. The new station operations room is due for completion in May.
UK Power Networks is wiring in the supply for a new substation that was installed late last year. In January, the new distribution boards that will take power around the station were installed.
Fit-out of the station tunnels continues, and lifts and escalators are now working with temporary power while they are tested.
TfL has decommissioned the third platform at Mansion House station to prepare the Circle and District line for the new signalling that is being delivered.
The third platform was too short for S stock trains and has been rarely used recently. By removing the unused points they have improved the alignment in preparation for meeting the target of 32 trains per hour on the line.
When the station was built in the late 1990s, it included an entrance to serve a property development that never went ahead. As a result, the entrance and lift have been closed to the public – until now.
The existing hydraulic lift is back in use until the autumn; after that it will be replaced with a new lift.
Works to replace the lifts at Lancaster Gate station has begun. The station is closed while the lifts are replaced and will reopen in mid-July 2017.
Construction of the Broadgate ticket hall is complete, delivering one of the Crossrail project’s milestones relating to City of London payments for Crossrail.
Enabling works for new escalators started on 20 January. The project aims to increase passenger capacity and ease congestion for passengers interchanging with National Rail.
Both escalators will be located next to and south of the existing stairs on Platform 4, which will also be retained to support future increased capacity. The project completion date is March 2018.