Tube Lines, the private consortium in charge of maintaining these lines, has promised a series of upgrades.
Tube Lines have said that they will replace the entire trackwork for these lines (except the Jubilee Line Extension (JLE)) in the first Review Period (the first 7.5 years of the contract, after which they will be assessed).
They also need to upgrade every station (except on the JLE) in some form or another during this period.
Capacity increase (Jan 2006)
A 17% increase in capacity should be achieved in January 2006, thanks to longer trains.
The addition of a seventh car to every train (platforms can currently take 7 cars but the trains are only 6 cars long) will take place.
The switch over from six to seven car trains requires an alteration to the software used to align trains with platform edge doors on the Jubilee Line Extension stations from Westminster to North Greenwich. This means the gradual addition of an extra car to a train would be complicated; instead, the Jubilee Line will be closed completely for five days over Christmas 2005, to allow all the extra cars to be added, and the software change to take place. Services will be reduced gradually throughout December from the 11th onwards in the lead-up to the complete closure, and will be gradually increase during January afterwards.
Signalling improvements (Dec 2009)
Moving block signalling will be introduced (originally planned for the 1999 extension). Moving block signalling allows trains to run closer to each other safely, and will enable a 6tph peak-hour frequency increase from 27tph to 33tph.
Modernisation is planned at Wembley Park, Neasden (2006), Swiss Cottage (incl. escalators, 2006), St John's Wood (2006), Baker Street (2009), Bond Street (2009), Green Park (2006) and Waterloo (2009). Refurbishment is planned for all other stations by 2010.
New escalators will be installed at North Greenwich by 2006 to cater for extra demand from new developments on the peninsula.
Northern Line (May 2011)
The major upgrade for the Northern Line is a replacement of the aging signalling, which can be the cause of delays, especially at the Camden Town and Kennington junctions. This should be complete by 2012.
All stations will be at least refurbished by 2011; modernisation is planned at 25 Northern Line stations which are detailed in TfL's Focus on the Tube document.
Stations like Bounds Green will be refurbished by 2011.
The Piccadilly is a long-term project. It requires complete signalling replacement (the control centre at Earl's Court with the District Line is renowned for its age; it is rumoured that several years ago a replacement computer part had to be acquired from a museum), and the current fleet of trains, although refurbished in 2001, needs to be replaced in the next decade, since it dates from 1973. Therefore 93 new trains will be ordered; the full line upgrade should be achieved by 2014.
Modernisation is planned for 14 Piccadilly line stations including Earl's Court, Gloucester Road, Knightsbridge, Green Park, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Holborn and King's Cross. Refurbishments are planned for all other stations, and all station improvements should be complete by 2011.
The Jubilee line has opened after its Christmas closure two days ahead of schedule. The closure took place to convert the line from six-car to seven-car operation, whilst testing out the signalling system. A full Jubilee service resumes on 8 January with a new timetable offering a 39,000 passenger-per-hour capacity, an increase of 6,000 from previously.
Over the Christmas 2005 period, the Jubilee line will be closed completely from Dec 25-30 for a seventh carriage to be added to every Jubilee line train. Additionally, 4 new trains will be added to the fleet, bringing the fleet to 63 trains. This will result in a 17% capacity increase across the entire line. Services will be progressively decreased from December 4-24 as trains are gradually withdrawn to allow for the new carriages to be added.
Following proposals to run a rolling shutdown of sections of the Northern line for up to two months at a time, small businesses near stations have voiced fears that they will be put out of business by the closures.
Private infrastructure operator Tube Lines are proposing a rolling shutdown of the Northern line, where sections of the line would be closed in turn for around two months in order to clear the maintenance backlog more efficiently than with weekend and nighttime engineering works.
TfL report that the refurbishment of the 1930s Grade II listed Arnos Grove station on the Piccadilly line has been completed on schedule and on budget, as has the similar refurb of Burnt Oak on the Northern line.
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