Upgrades for Northern and Jubilee Lines have been brought to a halt by Transport for London

Rebecca Smith
There had been plans to up the number of trains running on both the Northern Line and the Jubilee Line
There had been plans to up the number of trains running on both the Northern Line and the Jubilee Line (Source: Getty)

Planned upgrades for the Northern and Jubilee Lines have been paused by Transport for London (TfL), though train drivers' union Aslef says they will be cancelled entirely.

TfL confirmed today that it is "temporarily pausing" plans to buy more trains for the two lines, but Aslef said that senior managers admitted in private that the work has been shelved.

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Finn Brennan, Aslef's organiser on London Underground, said:

It is deeply disappointing and looks like a classic example of making medium-term savings that damage the long-term ability of the Tube to cope with London’s growth.

As TfL board papers make clear, any delays to this project weaken the business case and make outright cancellation more likely.

The Northern Line upgrade plan was to buy 17 additional trains so the Northern Line could run a 30 trains per hour service on all branches of the line, while the Jubilee Line would have had 10 new trains to operate a 36 trains per hour service.

David Hughes, London Underground’s director for strategy and network development, said:

The benefits from the largest investment programme in the Tube's history, combined with the huge capacity increases coming soon from the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, means that we are temporarily pausing our plans to buy more trains for the Jubilee and Northern lines.

Our modernisation programme and ‎in-depth technical work by our new combined engineering division has improved performance and reliability. This means we can increase the frequency of our existing trains without the immediate need for new trains, making journeys quicker and more comfortable for thousands of customers every day.

TfL's separate project to extend the £1.2bn Northern Line remains underway, though it emerged last month a crucial part of it could remain mothballed until it resolves a dispute over financing with Battersea Power Station's developers.

Tunnelling on the extension to widen the line from Kennington to Battersea started in April.

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