The reason for this urgency appears primarily to be that signalling procurement for the Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, Bakerloo and Central lines is now on the critical path. Here we will look at the other significant item to which it is closely related – train procurement (or the potential lack of it) in service of London Underground’s “World Class Capacity” upgrade.
Like most media-savvy organisations, Tf L like to give their major schemes positive sounding names.
Unfortunately as a result these aren’t always very meaningful.
Some Tf L panels are always worth keeping an eye on for unexpected developments, and the most recently announced Rail and Underground Panel meeting set antennae twitching at LR Towers with notable indications that something significant was involved.
The date of the meeting has only been recently been publicised which left us wondering, perhaps erroneously, if this suggested something urgent was to be discussed.
This does not mean that the line will be forgotten, as both Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central are on Tf L’s top ten hit list of stations in need of a major capacity upgrade.
Simply that the days of pushing more trains through the same stations more quickly have passed.
We will look at plans for the World Class Capacity lines in order of complexity and issues involved.
This means starting with the Victoria line and then looking at the relatively innocuous plans for the Jubilee, before wading into the issues involving the Northern.
Even the current service pattern causes difficulty clearing the platforms here at the moment, and 34tph would likely push this into dangerous territory, particularly if the remaining escalator in service were to break down.
The escalator work at Walthamstow Central is due to be complete by April this year, allowing extra trains to serve this station from the May timetable change.
On the Central line, in particular, at least a sustainable 34tph should also be possible post-upgrade.