London Underground has taken a step closer to upgrading the signalling on four of its lines, with live tests of the new system over the weekend.
The trial means customers should start to benefit from the new signalling on part of the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines later this summer.
After several months of testing by Thales, supported by the TfL project team, the trial was the first time that operational Tube staff used the new system. The trial involved staff operating six out-of-service trains under the new signalling system between Hammersmith and Latimer Road, which will be the first section to go live.
The project will introduce the new signalling system in stages, and is set to be completed in 2023.
This programme will improve reliability, capacity and customer information on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, and they will have more capacity due to an increase in train frequency from 28 to 32 trains per hour in the central London section.
The new control centre for all four lines at Hammersmith has also been completed and is now operational. The centre brings together operations and asset teams under one roof in order to ensure a smoother and more integrated service and more accurate customer information. It will replace some of the oldest equipment on the Underground network, including a signal box at Edgware Road that was built in 1926, as part of a project that will make the oldest Underground railway in the world one of the most modern.
What is known as the Four Lines Modernisation project will finish in 2023, when all four lines are operating completely under the new Thales system. Services will begin to increase in frequency from 2021, when the central London section of the network has been modernised.