Transport for London (TfL) reached a new stage in testing the new signalling system for the London Underground’s Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. The new system was successfully tested from Hammersmith through to Euston Square and Paddington, with the work involving the complex Baker Street junction – the first such junction to be tested with the state-of-the-art Thales communications-based train control (CBTC) system. The testing was conducted from the brand-new control room at Hammersmith Service Control Centre, which will also begin operation this summer.
This test, which was the culmination of an extensive period of planning and preparation, allowed TfL to gather information to ensure the system is ready for safe and efficient passenger service later this year. The next stage of the testing work will involve the longer, eight-car S-stock trains used on the Metropolitan line for the first time, and further testing and validation will be conducted in the coming weeks and months. The section between Hammersmith and Edgware Road will be the first to go live on the new system this summer, and will provide better, more accurate real-time customer information and improve reliability.
The new signalling system will be introduced progressively over 14 sections across the network, each improving reliability as it is introduced. Passengers will benefit from quicker, more frequent services from 2021, with all four lines using the new system by 2023. The new, modern signalling will allow trains to run closer together, which will increase the frequency of train services across these lines with 32 trains per hour set to operate in the central London section. This will boost capacity by a third across all four lines – equivalent to space for an extra 36,500 customers during the busiest times of day.