Tube Lines - Articles and news items
Over the last seven years the London Underground has been undergoing a major transformation to improve its performance, safety and reliability, thereby improving journeys for millions of passengers. One of the largest capital infrastructure projects in the world, Tube Lines is helping to deliver that vision through a 30 year Public Private Project (PPP) project with London Underground to upgrade the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
The PPP contracts Tube Lines Ltd. to a partnership with London Underground until 2032, with London Underground responsible for timetabling, staffing and actual operation of the lines and Tube Lines having long-term responsibility for maintenance, renewal and replacement of assets. The extent of the upgrade planned for these assets is extensive, involving some 255 trains, 100 stations, 330 facilities locations, 320km of track and tunnels, 227 escalators, and 112 lifts. However, the multi-billion pound upgrade project also includes improvements to other parts of the network, including bridges, ventilation shafts, lighting, fire protection systems, staff facilities, the Public Address system, the CCTV system, passenger help points, passenger information systems via electronic Visual Information Display signs, right down to the pumps and drains. All of these assets are being maintained and/or upgraded by Tube Lines.
It is now just over six years since Tube Lines took over responsibility for maintaining and upgrading London’s Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. One of the largest capital infrastructure projects in the world, the 30 year Public Private Project (PPP) will transform the lives of millions of Londoners and give them the world-class underground network they deserve. Now six months into the job, new Chief Executive Officer, Dean Finch, shares his thoughts on Tube Lines with Eurotransport.
The Tube is an icon of London and the sheer scale and complexity of the upgrade work being undertaken is unlike any other. Over the past six years, Tube Lines has worked hard to turn around the performance of its three lines and the benefits are clear to see. Services are more reliable – the Piccadilly line is 70% more reliable today than in 2003 and reliability on the Northern line, once dubbed the ‘misery line’ has improved by an impressive 65%. Stations are cleaner, more modern and fit for purpose and the quality of the track has been vastly improved leading to fewer faults and a better journey for passengers.
Tube Lines is responsible for maintaining and modernising the infrastructure on three of the busiest lines on the London Underground – the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. We are spending nearly £5 billion up until 2010 to improve them as part of the public private partnership (PPP) with London Underground (LU), introduced in 2003.
Built into the 30-year PPP with LU are periodic reviews, the first of which is coming up in mid-2010. The four review periods, each seven-and-a-half years long, allow LU to change its requirements, the scope of work, or Tube Lines’ performance targets. It is also an opportunity to review costing so that savings we have introduced are shared with the public sector but where costs have unavoidably escalated, despite efficient working practices, we get paid fairly going forward.
With a capital investment of £500 million, Tube Lines’ station upgrade programme is one of the largest in the world. Over the last five years, the programme has been delivered on time and within budget.
Almost two million people use the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines every day. That’s over a quarter of the population in the Greater London area and is seen as a very serious amount of footfall. The complete Underground system carries more people daily than the entire UK rail network and that figure grows at 7% a year.
The terrorist attacks on London’s public transport system on 7 July left many Londoners facing long and indirect journeys to and from work. Tube Lines – the company rebuilding the Tube’s busiest lines – played an instrumental role in getting full services restored in record time. Its Emergency Response Unit and provider of engineering services and equipment Trans Plant worked at all three bomb sites assisting police and moving trains. The Piccadilly line was restored to full service on 4 August – within four weeks of the bombing, just one week after the site was released by the anti-terrorist squad to Tube Lines.
The PPP contract for the London Underground provides an innovative way of tackling a major infrastructure project by combining strong public sector management with the best private sector expertise available. Tube Lines, responsible for the maintenance, renewal and upgrade of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, faces a huge task in reversing the effects of decades of under-investment in the Tube and delivering progress for customers.
The key challenge lies in how we manage the thousands of assets that can be found in our stations, on our lines and in our depots. Therefore, at the heart of our delivery of progress is a whole life asset management approach. This has led to recent investment in two key areas; communications technology and equipment and enterprise systems. The investment made by Tube Lines is designed to enable full integration of assets, resulting in increased economy and efficiency and a subsequent improvement of the passenger experience on the Underground.