Transport for London (TfL) will invest around ”1.4bn ($2.8bn) in the next year ” almost ”27m a week ” now that it has taken control of London Underground (LU) maintenance firm Metronet.
It is targeting new trains, and signalling and station revamps on the eight Tube lines it now controls ” the first carriages will be on the Victoria line and will feature CCTV, wheelchair access, better ventilation and audio-visual information screens.
Air-conditioned trains are due to enter service from 2010 as part of the upgrade to the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines ” 190 are being manufactured by Bombardier ” but a TfL spokesman told ABTN they will not be rolled out across all other lines.
”Some lines have had their fleets upgraded anyhow ” Central line has done in the last ten years - so they won”t be replaced straight away, but some of the deep level network we can”t do anyway ” like the Victoria and Northern lines ” because we are restricted there by the height of the tunnels the trains pass through.”
Despite fears of a funding gap following Metronet”s expensive lapse in administration, he was bullish on TfL”s plans: ”We”ve got our settlement for the next ten years from government, so we”re confident we can continue with the Tube upgrade.”
New Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ”Since Metronet went into administration there has been a protracted period of uncertainty, resulting in the millions who rely on the Tube not knowing when the needed improvements would be delivered.
”With Metronet now out of administration and under the control of TfL we can ensure that the crucial upgrade work is continued and delivered on time, while representing good value for the capital.”
LU managing director Tim O'Toole said: ”'We have already overseen the restructure of a number of contracts, particularly the train and signalling contracts for the sub-surface lines, and track maintenance across all these eight Tube lines.
”We can [now] focus on our priorities. [That is] continued good day-to-day maintenance leading to reliable train services, the delivery of the line upgrades, and putting in place with the Mayor and Government an efficient and effective long-term structure that can deliver Tube improvements in future.”
TfL has worked closely with LU during Metronet”s period in administration and a new management team at the latter ” which keeps its name - is already in place, led by CEO Andie Harper, which claims to have already helped reduce passenger disruptions by 10% and engineering overruns by a half.
”The transfer to TfL provides us with the stability and direction we need,” said Harper.