Alcatel and Tube Lines Demonstrate Successful Automatic Train Operation on London Underground Line

Canada NewsWire
October 13, 2004

Alcatel today announced that it has completed first stage testing and a successful demonstration of its transmission-based automatic train control system it is supplying to Tube Lines, the company responsible for upgrading and maintaining track, trains, signalling and stations on London Underground’s Jubilee Line and Northern Line. Equipped trains performed for a select guest list of local politicians and stakeholders by shuttling at varying speeds up to 50km/h on a dedicated test track at Highgate, North London.

Tube Lines has a 30 year private-public partnership (PPP) with London Underground and as part of this arrangement is managing a 1 billion pounds investment program to upgrade the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines — one of the largest upgrades of an existing metro system anywhere in the world. Each of the lines will have a new signalling system and Alcatel’s SelTrac(R), proven in use around the world for two decades, has been chosen for the Jubilee and Northern Lines.

The Alcatel contract, which was announced in October 2003, is valued at Euro 450 million and lasts for seven and a half years. Alcatel’s signalling system will be implemented completely by 2009 on the Jubilee Line and by 2011 on the Northern Line when the new systems are to go into full revenue service. New equipment on both lines, comprising 63 trains, 27 stations on 37km of Jubilee Line and 106 trains, 50 stations on 58km of Northern Line, will be installed and commissioned in sections before the old signalling system is disabled, minimizing disruption in passenger service.

Commenting on the successful test, Tube Lines Chief Executive, Terry Morgan said “Effective, modern signalling systems make a huge difference to passengers’ journeys by improving services and reliability, which is why it’s our priority to install the best signals on our lines. When the new system is installed, more trains will be able to run each hour and passengers will reach their destinations more quickly. We chose Alcatel’s system because it is tried and tested on light railways around the world, although none present such a challenging environment as the London Underground. By reaching this milestone in our rigorous testing, we’re a step closer to introducing a robust, reliable signalling system on the Northern and Jubilee Lines.”

In a further comment, Mark Halinaty, General Manager of Alcatel’s transport automation activities in the UK, said, “Today we have seen implemented, albeit in a test scenario, prototype automatic train operation and protection. This completes our initial system design phase of the project. We’re on schedule and now we can move ahead with physical design followed by section-by-section installation, testing and commissioning of our train control system. SelTrac technology gives our customer, Tube Lines, the ability to improve customer throughput safely and reliably using an existing infrastructure.”

About Tube Lines: Tube Lines is responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of the infrastructure on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines. London Underground is responsible for operating the Underground, for employing drivers and station staff, for ticketing and fares, and for the Tube’s safety regime. The Tube Lines consortium consists of Amey, Bechtel and Jarvis.

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