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Old February 27th, 2011, 11:19 PM   #1821
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China offers £50 million to buy mobile network for London Underground

Security fears have been raised by an offer from a Chinese company to build a £50m mobile phone network on the London underground for the Olympics.

The security services have faced continual cyber attacks from state-sponsored hackers in China seeking to steal military and technological secrets. Fears have also been raised that the Chinese are trying to infiltrate power, banking and telecoms networks with “Trojan” computer bugs that would allow them to shut down infrastructure in the event of hostilities.

However, the Chinese firm Huawei, which is one of the world’s largest telecom equipment firms, is set to offer £50m to London Underground as a gift from one Olympic host nation to another.

Huawei was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former military technologist for the People’s Liberation Army in China. The Joint Intelligence Committee has previously warned ministers about China’s ability to “remotely disrupt or even disable” British Telecom’s network after it signed a multi-million pound contract with the company six years ago.

The latest deal would see Huawei supply mobile transmitters which would be fitted along the ceilings of tunnels so that commuters could make and receive calls for the first time while travelling underground.

The company is seeking a final agreement with Thales, the engineering contractors, and with Transport for London (TfL) but a deal could be signed by April and the equipment installed by the following March when all but essential engineering work will be suspended before the Olympics.

Mobile operators including Vodafone and O2 will pay for the installation work for the equipment.

It has been reported that rival equipment suppliers were not invited to bid and that Huawei has been working closely on the project with Thales to create transmitters that will not increase the Tube’s uncomfortable summer heat.

Huawei is hoping that the network will help it win more work in Britain, along with income in maintenance fees. Its progress is in contrast with America and India, where it is has been viewed with suspicion and struggled to win large-scale contracts.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has said he believes there should be a mobile network on the underground as long as there is no cost to the taxpayer.

Mr Johnson’s plan to put a network across the entire Underground system would be scaled back to the Central, Jubilee and parts of the Piccadilly line, with the intention of expanding it later. Mobile networks have already been installed on the Hong Kong and Paris underground rail systems but experts say they can raise security concerns, because some bombs can be set off using the network.

Patrick Mercer MP, a former chairman of the parliamentary counterterrorism subcommittee, said Underground bosses had to be aware that it is a “double-edged sword.”

Mr Mercer added: “It has been proven that a proportion of the cyberattacks on this country come from China. I wonder when the eyes of the world are upon us whether there is sense in using a Chinese firm to install a sensitive mobile network.” A new radio system has already been introduced following the July 7 attacks, which allows the emergency services to communicate underground.

Transport for London said they were “currently in discussion with mobile phone operators and other suppliers about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the deep Tube network. “Given the financial pressures on TfL’s budgets, any solution would need to be funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare- or taxpayers. Discussions are ongoing.”

A spokesman for Huawei said they could not comment on the project due to business confidentiality but added: “We can confirm that we are involved in the bidding process. The UK is an important market for Huawei, and we endeavour of providing secure, technologically advanced communication services to the British people.”

The spokesman said the company provided equipment to 46 out of top 50 telecom operators globally and was a privately held company owned entirely by its employees.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...derground.html
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #1822
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:43 PM   #1823
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Maybe you haven't seen this -

Btw, I love London tube, but I really hate it if I nearly miss my coach (like last week when they closed Oxford circus station again). :P

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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:09 PM   #1824
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The video I posted above explain why some stations have to be closed from time to time. I just hope all these disruptions will be worth it in the end.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:24 PM   #1825
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:44 PM   #1826
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:52 PM   #1827
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:10 PM   #1828
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the closures have been overrun by 2 years already, and came with a Tube Lines pricetag of £2.4 billion more than any other estimate of cost (£6.8 billion total for what should have cost $4-4.4 billion). Pretty much the biggest attempted robbery in UK history - oh but that's not corruption, it's just market dynamics.

This included laying the Jubilee line with the wrong cable for nearly a year (then digging it up and starting again - a 'mistake' which of course earned them untold millions), and also the fact Tube Lines saved some money by demanding weekend closures rather than night closures, as they then didnt have to pay their staff night rates. They had a clause that allowed them to close at any time, despite the untold disruption to millions. Something they have been painstakingly doing as far back as 2007 - the last time the tube was fully functional on a weekend.

All their work carried out was also because they dug out old cabling and track instead of laying the new ones straight on top - a much slower, and expensive process that also netted them billions. Only when Tube Lines was forcibly bought out with taxpayers money for £400 million did all this come to light.

Believe it or not Tube Lines was the lesser of the two evils, superseding the notorious Metronet that was even slower, more corrupt and more profitable. And who were the shareholders of these companies? Well, the same public spirited people as Thames Water and EDF Energy, the same companies that plague the city's roads with 5000 roadworks a day, 80% of which is estimated as unneccessary - well because they can.

Basically public services have long been a cash cow for private companies and contractors for decades, to build the entire Victoria Line took 6 years under public works. To fix one set of escalators with a private company at Tottenham Court Rd took 12, charged by the hour. Imagine walking up 3 flights of stairs every day for 12 years on your daily commute, for something that could be built entirely within a week.

Is there a wonder that comments have been disabled for each of those youtube videos?

Last edited by the spliff fairy; March 3rd, 2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:26 PM   #1829
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This things are always envolved in countless controversies, at least they should get things right this time. Official channel for certain entities usually disable comments.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:48 PM   #1830
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Boris Johnson says sorry for Metropolitan line delays

The mayor of London has apologised to commuters for “teething problems” with new Metropolitan line trains.

Tube users in Harrow have been hit with severe delays since the introduction of new air-conditioned trains on the line, with the rollout of the 58 trains set to continue until late 2011.

Bosses were even forced to close parts of the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines during rush hour last month, strengthening the argument the underground network is strained under the dual pressure of cutbacks and ongoing upgrade work.

But Boris Johnson said the upgrades were necessary to cater for increased demand. He said: “I know that people are experiencing delays and problems, and there will always be teething problems with any new service.

“I want to apologise for the delays people are having to put up with, but I do think we are starting to see some progress.

“We have to improve how we get information to people about problems but I feel we will see a better service in the future. By 2012 we will see vast improvements.” In January, Anthony Wood, vice chairman of the Federation of Metropolitan Line Users' Committees, told the Harrow Times:“Everything new has teething troubles but we seem to have had a lot of this.

“This is not acceptable to us and we've made our feelings known to management and they are holding various meetings. The situation isn't getting any better, it's getting worse.”

London Underground says that when the upgrade is complete the line capacity will increase by 27 per cent, which means the service will be able to carry an extra 9,500 people per hour.
http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/88...t_line_delays/
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Old March 4th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #1831
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Old March 4th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #1832
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impressive, london underground is just impressive.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #1833
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Those information updates are great. Very interesting to know what specific jobs they’re doing during the line closures.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #1834
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Answer me this Londoners! What the hell is Overground and whats the difference between it and Underground aside from the fact that Underground is under ground.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #1835
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And more to the point, where is London Wombling Free?
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Old March 4th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #1836
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
Answer me this Londoners! What the hell is Overground and whats the difference between it and Underground aside from the fact that Underground is under ground.
Well actually 55% of the London Underground is not under ground.

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And more to the point, where is London Wombling Free?
For those confused, this is a reference to words of the theme tune to the Wombles TV programme: #Underground, overground, wombling free...#
I'm afraid we in Wimbledon are too common to answer [thats an in-joke too by the way].
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #1837
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Answer me this Londoners! What the hell is Overground and whats the difference between it and Underground aside from the fact that Underground is under ground.
London Overground is the name given to a number of urban rail services - plus the LU East London Line - which have now been brought together under a single brand and are managed by Transport for London.

'Overground' was used to help differentiate the new network, which was also fully-integrated into TFL's network, as being separate from the rest of the capital's rail suburban rail services.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Overground

Mind you, most Londonders call the Undergound "The Tube" - including those lines built by cut-and-cover as well as the bits that extend out towards the suburbs and are above ground.
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Last edited by Paul Easton; March 4th, 2011 at 04:23 PM.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #1838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Easton View Post
Mind you, most Londonders call the Undergound "The Tube" - including those lines built by cut-and-cover as well as the bits that extend out towards the suburbs and are above ground.
...Plus a lot of Londoners refer to the entire NR system as 'The Overground' and have done for years, long before the TfL 'Overground' brand was devised for the ex-Silverlink Metro lines.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #1839
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London Overground is the name given to a number of urban rail services - plus the LU East London Line - which have now been brought together under a single brand and are managed by Transport for London.
Good answer.

I've always wondered where Thameslink fits into the scheme of things. I see it on a lot of peoples' fantasy future London rail maps as if it's another Underground/Overground line. Is the service on Thameslink more comparable to the tube, Overground, Commuter rail, or National rail? Or would comparing it to the future Crossrail service be a better analogy? Is it run by TfL or the national rail carrier?

I've also heard there's the possibility of the old Aldwych tube station being re-purposed into a Thameslink station, with a new southbound tunnel connection to Waterloo (or alternately Blackfriars) and points south. What's the likelihood of that?
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Old March 4th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #1840
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Originally Posted by Tubeman View Post
...Plus a lot of Londoners refer to the entire NR system as 'The Overground' and have done for years, long before the TfL 'Overground' brand was devised for the ex-Silverlink Metro lines.
Although, confusingly, some travel reporters on the radio still do that - e.g. "...meanwhile on the Overground a defective train at Vauxhall is causing delays into Waterloo."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
Good answer.

I've always wondered where Thameslink fits into the scheme of things. I see it on a lot of peoples' fantasy future London rail maps as if it's another Underground/Overground line. Is the service on Thameslink more comparable to the tube, Overground, Commuter rail, or National rail? Or would comparing it to the future Crossrail service be a better analogy? Is it run by TfL or the national rail carrier?
Thanks.

I think LO is 'urban rail' - which a service running between Brighton and Bedford is not. If anything I think your idea of comparing Thameslink to Crossrail is a better analogy. I think Thameslink is run by First.


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I've also heard there's the possibility of the old Aldwych tube station being re-purposed into a Thameslink station, with a new southbound tunnel connection to Waterloo (or alternately Blackfriars) and points south. What's the likelihood of that?
First I've heard and, while I'm always happy to stand corrected, I seem to recall Aldwych as being designed for standard tube stock so it would have to be rebuilt almost from scratch to enlarge the tunnels - as well as put in more-efficient street-to-platform access than the couple of old lifts it had.
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