Tube journeys to get quicker and more reliable as TfL wraps up major upgrade and Northern Line extension work over festive break

Rebecca Smith
TfL says journeys will get speedier and more reliable on London's Tube
TfL says journeys will get speedier and more reliable on London's Tube (Source: Getty)

Transport for London (TfL) said today Tube passengers will reap the rewards of the completion of significant upgrade work over the festive period, promising quicker and more reliable journeys.

It is also planning to set the wheels in motion for walk-through trains on a raft of Tube lines, awarding the contract for the new trains later this year.

Some 250 of the new air conditioned trains will be rolled out on the deepest Tube lines, starting with the Piccadilly Line, which TfL said will increase capacity by 60 per cent.

Read more: TfL says major Tube upgrades cancelled because of dip in passenger numbers

The boost in capacity to Tube lines expected from the new trains

Bakerloo Line - To increase capacity by 25 per cent

Piccadilly Line - 60 per cent

Central Line - 25 per cent

Waterloo & City Line - 50 per cent

The transport body said work as part of its record investment to improve the London Underground went smoothly over the festive period, with the installation of cabling on tracks to support a new Wi-Fi based signalling system allowing trains to run closer together and provide a more frequent service for customers.

A new computer-based signalling and control system between Hammersmith and Edgware Road will be the first section of the Tube to go live with the new signalling system this summer.

The new system will allow trains to run closer together on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

Northern Line extension takes shape

Progress has been made on the Northern Line extension too, with the installation of two new track junctions to connect the new tunnels for the extension to the existing line at Kennington. Work is ongoing to build new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms.

How the Northern line will be extended

How the Northern Line extension will look on the Tube map

Other work by engineers included the replacement of three track junctions at Earl's Court to allow trains to pass through more quickly, and the completion of track improvement work to make journeys more reliable.

Mark Wild, TfL’s managing director of London Underground, said:

The work we completed over the festive period was incredibly complex and I thank customers for their patience whilst our engineers worked around the clock to carry it out.

This work is part of our record investment in the Tube, which will see over 40 per cent of the network radically improved with more frequent trains, quicker journeys and better reliability and the first major extension to the Tube network since the 1990s.

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