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LONDON UNDERGROUND & OVERGROUND


Photo © Paul Bigland


Train manufacturing at Bombardier may be in trouble, but its signalling systems are being snapped up, as London Underground’s recent contract confi rmation shows.


T


he £354m contract to install a new signalling system across four London


Underground lines, covering 40% of the network, has been confi rmed.


Bombardier Transportation will install its Cityfl o 650 ATC system on the Circle, Dis- trict, Hammersmith & City and Metropoli- tan lines for London Underground.


LU said it had learnt from the experiences of other global metro systems, including Madrid, where Bombardier has also re- cently upgraded the signalling using a simi- lar system and method. It has promised to carry out the upgrade in London, including both installation and testing, without the need for weekend closures.


LU managing director Mike Brown said: “This is a major step forward in our plan to upgrade the Tube and will mean faster, more frequent and reliable Tube services across 40% of the Tube network. We know that line closures are disruptive to our cus- tomers and as a result we have insisted on the delivery of the new signalling system without the need for the kind of closures we have seen on other lines.”


By 2018, the signalling upgrade will al- low for 24% more capacity on the District line, from 40,000 to 50,000 passengers an hour, and 27% more capacity on the Met- ropolitan line, from 35,000 to 44,500 pas- sengers an hour. The improvements will be even greater on the Circle and Hammer- smith & City lines, delivered through new signalling, longer trains and recent im- provements to service frequency. In total the upgrade will provide space for an extra 17,500 passengers each hour – increasing the capacity from 26,000 to 43,500 pas- sengers an hour.


The new signalling contract was fi nalised in June after a statutory ‘standstill’ period. The original invitation to tender was issued in July 2009, and Bombardier was selected as the preferred bidder in April 2011.


Transport for London said in a news state- ment: “Alongside the fl eet of 191 new air- conditioned walk-through trains, already being rolled out on the Metropolitan line, the new signalling system, when complete, will mean passengers can travel more quickly, and frequently on all of the sub- surface lines, which together make up 40% of the Tube network.”


Bombardier will equip the 310km of track line (40km of which is in tunnels), 113 stations, 191 trainsets, 49 engineer- ing trains and six heritage trains by 2018, followed by a two-year warranty period. The main project offi ce will be in Lon- don, with Bombardier sites in Bangkok, Helsinki, Madrid, Pittsburgh, Plymouth, Derby and Reading providing much of the product supply and associated en- gineering works. Bombardier will equip the existing and new sub-surface railway vehicles in line with the new contract.


Andre Navarri, president and chief operat- ing offi cer of Bombardier Transportation, commented: “Bombardier’s groundbreak- ing CBTC technology is installed globally on 13 lines and is proven to signifi cantly increase capacity and quality of service for our customers. We are very pleased to be awarded this new contract by Lon- don Underground and look forward to working together on this exciting pro- ject to improve the transport network for hundreds of thousands of passengers.”


Anders Lindberg, president of Bombardier


Rail Control Solutions, added: “As well as being an important contract for Bombar- dier in the UK signalling market, this is fur- ther testimony to the strength of our inno- vative Cityfl o 650 system and our reputa- tion for system delivery. We have supplied Cityfl o solutions around the world and are very proud to now be introducing our pio- neering technology in the UK.”


The contract is the result of a re-tendering process LU began following the collapse of Metronet in 2007. The original contract for new sub-surface lines signalling was “not fi t for purpose”, LU said, both technically and in value-for-money terms.


It said in a statement: “It would also have left LU with the legacy of a signalling sys- tem not compatible with others across the Tube network; not only ineffi cient but would have led to greater infrastructure, maintenance and training costs. The new contract and the effi ciencies it will deliver means Transport for London will save hun- dreds of millions of pounds, now and in fu- ture, on the original PPP solution.”


Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The signing of this contract means that we can now proceed with one of the most important elements of the Tube upgrade programme. The Circle, District, Hammer- smith & City and Metropolitan lines are the oldest in the capital, making up a large chunk of the Tube network and moving a million Londoners every day. This new contract will deliver the minimum amount of closures while delivering the improve- ments all Londoners are desperate to see.”


FOR MORE INFORMATION


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