CBTC tested at Baker Street

TRANSPORT FOR London has completed testing of the new Thales signalling system for London Underground’s sub-surface lines from Hammersmith as far east as Euston Square.

Through the Four Lines Modernisation (4LM) programme, Thales is equipping the four lines with a new Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system, which TfL is testing ahead of introduction on the Hammersmith to Edgware Road stretch of the Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines this summer. The testing on 24-25 March covered the largest area yet, including the junction with the Metropolitan Line at Baker Street. It was conducted from the new control room at Hammersmith Service Control Centre, which will also begin operation this summer and will eventually control all four lines.

The CBTC system will be introduced progressively across 14 ‘migration areas’ over the coming years. TfL plans the first timetable improvements derived from the new signalling system in 2021, with all the benefits achieved by 2023. Frequency through the central sections will rise to 32 trains per hour.

A parallel programme is seeing Bombardier retrofit the CBTC equipment to all 192 ‘S’ stock trains. So far testing has used only the S7 trains used on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Lines, with the next stage seeing this also include the S8 trains deployed on the Metropolitan Line.