Jubilee Line drivers' cabs always seem to get VIP's!
The new track and signalling has been the bane of Jubilee passengers lives for the past year or so, with almost weekly weekend engineering work closing a lot of the line. However, it looks like the end is almost in sight as Boris announced "we can now see real milestones being reached, including the long awaited completion of this crucial upgrade in just a few months time."
Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, was speaking about Tube upgrades at the London Assembly Transport Committee earlier today. He said "We carried 90.6 million passenger journeys in the four week run up to Christmas, the most we've ever done in our history....... We're very proud of these record numbers but it does indicate that we're stretching our current network and our current technology, and the people who work on the system, to the limit. .......We have to upgrade the Tube in a way that causes the least disruption to passengers while we do."
Specifically on the Jubilee Line upgrade he said "We've now introduced the new TBTC automatic signalling operation for most of the line between Stratford & Dollis Hill."
Val Shawcross, chair of the committee, tried to pin Mike Brown down to a firm date, as to when the Jubilee Line work would be finished. Obviously not being confident of the "Spring of this year" mentioned in TfL's press release. "What does Spring mean ? Give us a month!" she said. Spring then appeared to move. "I'm absolutely convinced it will be the first half of this year" said Brown!
Brown assured the audience that we would not see anything like the amount of closures on other London Underground Lines that have been experienced on the Jubilee Line. "That is something that is unacceptable it is not going to occur with the Northern Line nor with any other line." He said adamantly.
If you've got a spare hour or so you can watch a webcast of the full meeting. Brown also discusses upgrades on all other lines (starting at 1 hour 19mins in). Anyone interested in Crossrail can also watch a progress report from Chief Exec Rob Holden, who resigned at the end of last year.
If you don't have an hour to spare London Reconnections have a good post on the meeting including the full & summary response Mike Brown gave when asked about driverless Tube trains!
Hat tip to Tom Edwards the BBC London Transport correspondent who was at the meeting.
UPDATE - 4th February 2011 - Apparently Boris Johnson was "snapping and shouting" at senior TfL figures, after a broken down train on the Jubilee Line, caused severe delays this morning. Not the best timing after his "we're making great progress on the Jubilee line speech above." The train broke down just after 7.30am, blocking the line at North Greenwich and preventing trains turning round at Stratford. Trains were suspended between Canary Wharf and Stratford throughout the morning peak. More from The Evening Standard.
For the first time in my memory at least, TfL will be automatically giving a refund to people for the disruption caused. Mike Brown, MD of the London Underground said: 'I am very sorry for the disruption suffered by our customers on the Jubilee line this morning. For those on the east end of the line this was compounded by problems on the DLR and I know it meant a tough journey to work for many.
'As a result we will be refunding those passengers the cost of their travel today." for more details and to see if you qualify visit this page on TfL's site.