Rail News

London Underground’s Central Line Trains Set for Upgrade

Bombardier Transportation has been awarded the contract by London Underground (LU) to supply new motors and traction control equipment for its fleet of Central line trains.

This contract, which will commence today and run until 2024, is valued by Bombardier Transportation at approximately £112.1 million with Bombardier also providing ongoing maintenance support.

London Underground's Central Line Train
A London Underground Central line train to be powered by new Bombardier Transportation propulsion technology © Bombardier

London Underground’s Central Line Improvement Programme

Bombardier’s re-traction project is part of LU’s larger Central Line Improvement Programme (CLIP). The CLIP will bring a number of passenger-focussed improvements and is expected to significantly reduce customer-affecting failures on the Central line fleet.

For the programme, Bombardier will replace the direct current (DC) traction motors on Central line trains with the latest MITRAC alternating current (AC) traction systems and MITRAC traction control equipment. The Central line ’92 Tube Stock are the last LU trains to use DC traction motors, and MITRAC will bring significant benefits by reducing energy consumption while greatly improving fleet reliability and performance. In total, Bombardier will supply new motors and traction control equipment for 85 8-car Central line trains (680 cars in total). The project will be led from Bombardier’s Västeras site in Sweden, also leveraging the capabilities of other sites in the Bombardier manufacturing network. The installation of the first train, plus associated vehicle integration works and testing will be undertaken at Bombardier’s Derby site in the UK.

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Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, said:

“The Central line is one of the busiest and most important lines on the London Underground network. We are making a number of improvements to reduce delays and make the line more reliable for our customers. Installing new motors is one of the most important parts of this work, and will mean we can deliver a more reliable service to our customers, which will in turn boost capacity.”

Richard Hunter, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation UK commented:

“This important contract win is testament to the significant improvements in energy consumption, reliability and performance of our BOMBARDIER MITRAC systems. This win is also a ringing endorsement of our traction system business, following MITRAC’s strong performance on other London Underground lines. Bombardier has a long history of working with London Underground, and we continue to provide cutting edge technology across the tube network, playing a vital role in keeping London moving.”

Transforming Travel in London

Between 2009 and 2018, Bombardier has delivered or has orders for more than 2,800 rail vehicles for Transport for London (LU’s parent company), helping to transform the travel experience for millions of London commuters. The BOMBARDIER MOVIA trains on LUL’s Victoria Line are recording excellent reliability with 100,000-plus miles between service-affecting failures, whilst its MOVIA ‘S7’ trains on the sub-surface lines have reached a peak of 200,000 miles between failures.

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Original article © Bombardier.


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