London railway upgrades – a progress report

One of the periodic reports from TfL has been released with details of ongoing network upgrades across the networks it controls. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on when the lines are closed at weekends, this is what’s going on.

Stations

Bank

Tunnelling works to create a new southbound Northern line tunnel and platform at Bank station are well under way and they have started the foundation works for the new ticket hall.

The new entrance to the Waterloo & City line penciled in to open in a couple of weeks time has been pushed back to next February due to fire door certification issues.

A warning that the £642 million cost may be optimistic has been raised, and the matter is being investigated.

Paddington

Installation of lifts for the new tunnel link between the Bakerloo and Elizabeth line platforms is complete, and installation of the escalators is on schedule.

Ealing Broadway

Replacement of the platform 5 and 6 canopy following damage caused by Storm Doris in February is still ongoing.

Finsbury Park

They continue southbound lift shaft works and we are in the process of tendering for fit-out works due to start at the end of 2017.

Bromley-by-Bow

Ticket hall refurbishment works are ongoing, as is the installation of two lifts.

Camden Town 

A second public consultation closed on 18 August for the Camden Town station capacity upgrade, almost entirely supportive.

Chancery Lane

They’ve replaced the central staircase, which marks the completion of a complex project that started in November 2016.

King’s Cross

Three lifts have been replaced linking with the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

Battersea Power Station

Construction has completed the roof level capping beams and cross beams on schedule and this has allowed the excavation to the second basement level to start.

Victoria Station

Work continues on the westbound pedestrian tunnel, the south ticket hall escalators and fit-out of the remaining lifts. However, the completion of step-free access to all platforms via lifts from the north ticket hall has been delayed by contractor lift resource issues.

The south ticket hall is planned to open in the next few weeks, around seven months early.

Rail Lines

Hammersmith & City line

Multiple test trains ran on the new signalling system between Hammersmith and Latimer Road for the first time.

Northern line

One of the Northern line extension tunnel boring machines completed tunnelling by breaking into the shaft at Kennington on 26 October and the other completed on 8 November.

In addition, they have completed two large step plate junctions at the Kennington loop, and completed enabling works to prepare these to connect the existing Northern line with the new extension during a planned 10-day Christmas 2017 closure of the Kennington loop.

A new timetable will be introduced in January 2018, extending the evening peak service frequency (aka, more trains) from one to two hours, and there will be a further timetable change in 2018.

The upgrades to the line to permit 32 trains per hour in the peak hours ran over-budget by £1.2 million, as a result of higher costs for signalling works, driven by exchange rate changes.

Sub-Surface lines shared facilities

The Upminster depot project is close to completing design packages for the remaining works. Over the last six months the project has progressed with works to provide S-Stock maintenance facilities in the wheel lathe and cleaning shed, as well as installing a sand silo and modifying the de-icing system.

Upgrades to the Ealing Common depot de-icing facility is behind schedule owing to the discovery of major structural damage to the building.

Of the 76 planned platform modifications to reduce the gap between the train and the platform, 61 are now complete, including Aldgate East which completed in the quarter.

Track layout improvements were completed at Tower Hill and Rayners Lane in preparation for ATC running, with 21 of the 29 revised layouts now complete.

Customer information display upgrades were completed at twenty stations and works at the remaining 34 stations are on schedule.

Piccadilly line

They completed almost 500m of ballasted track renewal at Alperton on the Piccadilly line, replacing wooden sleepers with more durable concrete ones, and also waterproofed two bridges in the area to increase their lifespan.

Jubilee line

The tenth refurbished Jubilee line train out of 63 is back in service.

Metropolitan line

TfL has completed slab track installation in the southbound tunnel from Baker Street to Finchley Road – to improve track drainage, increase track life and reduce maintenance.

Elizabeth line

The project is approaching 90 per cent completion.

TfL continues to build the new footbridges and lifts at Maryland, Manor Park and Seven Kings. TfL installed the lift shafts at Manor Park in August and steelwork installation will continue during planned railway closures until Christmas 2017.

The start of bringing the Elizabeth line into railway use took place on 28 October 2017, when a Class 345 train was brought into the tunnel for the first time and hauled to Abbey Wood where it will be based whilst undertaking initial testing.

The next stage is energisation of the south east section of the infrastructure. This is now scheduled to commence in January 2018. This delay was caused by the failure of high voltage transformer equipment at Pudding Mill Lane during initial testing.

TfL Rail

At the end of September, eight of the new trains had been accepted into passenger service.

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Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

2 comments on “London railway upgrades – a progress report
  1. G says:

    I, for one, am very curious about the future of the Cycle Hire scheme. It’s mentioned in the report that “In the final phase of the programme, we have started preparations to deliver a discount scheme for users of other TfL services”

    Could this mean some kind of integration for travel card users? That could really increase uptake if so. I know the idea of Oyster has already been ruled out like they use in Paris.

  2. Tomas says:

    I am a bit confused about the Victoria station works update. It states that full step-free access to all platforms from the North ticket hall is delayed, but will the South ticket hall, when it opens, have step-free access ready at least from the NR station to the interchange area? Or have all the new lift openings been delayed?

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