Part of London Underground’s multi-billion upgrade of the network includes replacing the out of date signalling systems on the Jubilee and Northern Lines with a new state of the art system. The signalling work on the Jubilee Line was substantially completed in 2011 and now the focus is on the Northern Line. New signalling will allow London Underground to run more trains, more often, with fewer failures resulting in a quicker more reliable service. Running faster trains closer together means greater capacity on the line which is vital as nearly a million people ride the Northern Line each day and the numbers are growing. When the upgrade is complete in 2014, the line capacity will increase by a fifth which means an extra 11,000 passengers an hour can be carried.
The old fixed block signalling is being replaced by Thales who is installing its SelTrac S40 Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system. The preparatory work for the upgrade is underway and includes installing new trackside wiring and other equipment, and converting the trains so they are ready for the new system.
VGC has been appointed by Thales to carry out much of the trackside work. VGC has worked in both tube and sub-surface environments from Morden to High Barnet and Edgware on the Northern Line and between Westminster and Stanmore on the Jubilee Line including depots. The work VGC has undertaken has been extensive and has included a comprehensive cable management system, hard standings, concrete bases and safety hand rails. VGC has installed signals and associated equipment in over 800 locations throughout the two lines. Work has also incorporated removal of redundant assets. In addition to this VGC has provided staff to support the running of test trains, which are an essential part of the implementation and testing regime. In order to reduce the impact on the travelling public much of the work is being done at night.
VGC is delighted to be contributing to the improvements in the capital’s transport infrastructure. Work on the Northern Line aims to increase capacity by 20% and cut journey times by around 18% and is set to be complete in 2014.