The London Underground is one of the world's oldest and busiest metro systems carrying just over three million passengers each day, rising to 3.4 million passengers on weekdays. In 2006, the system carried one billion passengers for the first time in its 144-year history.
Substantial investment to upgrade the entire system and to increase its capacity was secured through a 30-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) in 2003 when Bombardier was awarded contracts to supply new metro cars, new signalling systems, maintenance services, project management and systems integration to the London Underground.
For the Victoria line upgrade, Bombardier will supply 47 eight-car trains, with the first train entering service in 2009. The rest of the fleet will be phased in over a two-year period. A new overlay Signalling System and Control Centre will be installed by 2009 and Bombardier’s line upgrade work will be completed by end of 2012.
For the Sub-surface lines, Bombardier will supply a single fleet of increased size to replace the 177 trains of different types which run on the Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines. The first train will arrive on the Metropolitan line by 2010. Once the renewal work is complete, the capacity of the four lines is expected to increase by over 40 per cent overall through the faster and larger train fleet, a new signalling and service control system and upgraded infrastructure.
All new trains for the Sub-surface lines’ upgrade will be of the same walk-through design, with only the train length changing between the various lines. These walk-though gangways are a first for the London Underground. In addition, this fleet will benefit from air-conditioning, which is another first for London’s busy metro.
Once the new trains are introduced into service, Bombardier will provide maintenance support services for the new fleets.