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Old April 8th, 2011, 12:54 PM   #1921
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Old April 8th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #1922
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Old April 8th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #1923
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Quote:
Modernisation: Departing A Stock gives way to higher-performing arrival

The new train standing by a dingy platform at London Underground’s Baker Street station looks as if it is a visitor from the future when compared with the Metropolitan Line’s battered 50-year-old carriages. Brightly lit, air-conditioned and boasting sophisticated passenger information systems, the S Stock offers a level of comfort and performance that would have been beyond passengers’ most lurid imaginings in 1960, when the outgoing A Stock trains first came into service.

But the S Stock trains, and other similar new metro cars worldwide, represent a challenge for transport operators and their suppliers alike. The latest traction technology and lightweight materials offer the potential for vehicles to become significantly lighter and for energy consumption to fall substantially. However, passengers’ growing expectation of levels of comfort and information, on a par with air-conditioned, GPS-equipped cars, are simultaneously eating away at the efficiency gains made.

“You have an energy budget you cannot exceed,” says David Waboso, London Underground’s director for upgrades, explaining how the trackside power supply imposes the ultimate limit on consumption. “Ideally, you want to bring it down.”

Power constraints are part of the reason London Underground has still not found a way of putting air-conditioning on trains in its constrained, deep-level tube tunnels. Air-conditioning is possible on the S Stock trains because they run on the shallower, subsurface lines. “What can I do to bring myself within that energy budget?” Mr Waboso says. “You need to attack it like that.”

Yet, whatever the challenges, there is no doubting recent years’ improvements in metro trains’ capabilities.

The S Stock, like many other modern metro trains, is a single, continuous tube, with flexible gangways at the joints between carriages. Because passengers are more visible to each other, there is less risk of crime. The train’s computers track components for signs of problems and can alert maintenance staff about which are likely to break down, allowing them to ensure the relevant part is available and ready to be fitted.

Significant efforts have also gone into reducing the train’s weight – and hence the energy needed to move it – says Paul Brown, project manager for the upgrade of the subsurface lines for Bombardier Transportation, the train’s builder. The body shell was built from aluminium extrusions – light material but still strong enough to meet the strict rules on trains’ ability to withstand crashes that add further to the complications of producing a lightweight modern train.

“Weight saving and weight targets were a key design characteristic,” Mr Brown says.

However, Mr Waboso says, it is only because of a sophisticated power-management computer system and brakes that feed energy back into the power rail that the train is not more power-hungry than its predecessor. He estimates that the braking system – known as regenerative braking – reduces the S Stock’s energy use by 20 per cent.

“In broad numbers, this train consumes more energy, because its power draw is greater,” Mr Waboso says. “The way you compensate for that is regenerative braking.”

A further improvement of the S Stock – its ability to accelerate and brake faster than existing trains, cutting journey times – will come into its own only later this decade, when LU installs more sophisticated signalling systems that will run the trains with minimal driver intervention.

Bernard von Wullerstorff, head of railway systems for Unife, the European railway industry association, expects more metros to adopt such technology over the next 15 years, with an increasing number moving to entirely driverless operation.

“It started 25 years ago with the odd system or branch,” Mr von Wullerstorff says. “Now, it’s something that I think will happen everywhere. Driverless systems on metros can be much better performing than a human being.” However, Mr von Wullerstorff adds, not every metro worldwide may make the same calculations as London about the balance of weight and energy consumption.

Some metros in South America, or other less wealthy parts of the world, may choose to use the energy savings to cut energy bills. “They might ask for the same energy efficiency, but they might not ask for the same passenger information systems or the latest doors,” he says.

Meanwhile, even for metros that choose to give passengers the latest in comfort, there remains further scope for improvement, Mr von Wullers*torff says. Mr Waboso predicts the next big step will be the elimination of some bogies – the frames that hold trains’ wheels.

Each carriage might rest on only one set of wheels, as happens with some suburban train designs. Bogies are a big contributor to a train’s overall weight and, hence, its energy consumption. LU has said it is considering such a design for replacement trains on its Bakerloo Line, which will have the network’s oldest fleet once the S Stock trains are fully introduced.

Passengers on the Metropolitan Line, however, are unlikely to complain about the S Stock. The outgoing A Stock took over on the outer parts of the line from steam haulage.

That its successor should be a train capable of driving itself nearly independently of a driver, with air conditioning and computers that tell depots when components need replaced, may seem like remarkable enough progress to passengers for the time being.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37c16ccc-6...#axzz1IxbSZASe
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Old April 8th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #1924
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Old April 9th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #1925
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Old April 9th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #1926
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Old April 10th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #1927
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Driver's eye view of Victoria line

My journey to work but with a different view and better soundtrack!

Last edited by Acemcbuller; April 10th, 2011 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Finding out how to post video!
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Old April 10th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #1928
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Great stuff!
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Old April 10th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #1929
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Old April 10th, 2011, 09:56 PM   #1930
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #1931
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Boris Johnson: Tube will be fit for purpose for Olympics

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The Mayor pledged today to "fix" the Tube in time for the Olympics.

He spoke as concerns mounted over the Jubilee line - the principal route for the Games, connecting central London with the Olympic Park in Stratford. The line is suffering repeated breakdowns because of problems with the new signalling system. New figures put it at the top of the "list of shame" for delays.

In a leaked memo seen by the Evening Standard, Howard Collins, the Tube's chief operating officer, admits there is "still a huge amount of work to do" on the Jubilee. Mayoral challenger Ken Livingstone accused Boris Johnson of being "out of touch" and called on him to "get a grip".

But Mr Johnson insisted the Tube would be fit for purpose by July next year - even though there will be shutdowns on parts of the system every weekend to get all the work done.

He said that ensuring the Tube runs efficiently was his priority "for the next five to 10 years", and he would be seen out and about on the network more often, taking overall charge of multi-billion-pound line upgrades.

"All the work that needs to be done before the Olympics will be done, I am confident," he said. "People are working flat out to ensure commuters have hassle-free journeys.

"I know people get irritated when we have to close it at weekends but it's necessary." During an engineering inspection on the District line at Bromley-by-Bow, he pledged to make night and weekend work, which can cause chaos to morning services, a "thing of the past".

His lawyers are studying the small print on contracts to ensure firms face heavier penalties, or even dismissal, if services are delayed because work is not finished in time.

The latest Tube performance figures, covering January 9 to February 5 were highlighted by Mr Livingstone. They show delays on the Jubilee line rose 26 per cent on a year ago. The new signalling system is still to be installed at the northern end of the line.

The Victoria line, hit by problems with a new multi-million-pound train fleet, was second in the list of shame, with 18 per cent more delays.
Mr Livingstone said: "I'm a daily Tube user. The frustration and inconvenience caused by Tube delays threatens to erode everyday quality of life in the capital."

A Transport for London spokesman said: "The presentation of the figures is wrong and highly selective. Current figures [for the whole network] show the number of delays - incidents that cause an initial delay to the train service of 15 minutes or more - have fallen by around seven per cent."
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #1932
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"Connecting central London with the Olympic Park in Stratford" in a way that the Central line just can't do?
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #1933
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Just thought the same, the trains opening on both sides and all that...
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #1934
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Quote:
Signalling contract will mean ‘faster, more frequent and more reliable Tube services’

London Underground today moved a step closer to awarding a major signalling contract for the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. LU selected Bombardier Transportation as the Preferred Bidder, heralding faster, more frequent and reliable Tube services for Londoners.

The new signalling contract, when finalised, will be awarded following a statutory ‘standstill’ period.

This contract signifies the start of the single biggest piece of work to upgrade the Tube, coupled with a fleet of 191 new air-conditioned walk-through trains which are already being rolled out on the Metropolitan line

When complete, the new signalling system will mean passengers ‘can travel more quickly and frequently on all sub-surface lines.’ The upgrade will deliver 65% more capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, 24 per cent more capacity on the District line and 27% more capacity on the Metropolitan line.

LU has also been working with and learning from other world metros including the Madrid Metro, in order to develop innovative ways to upgrade the Tube in order to minimise disruption. As a result, this contract provides for no weekend closures simply for signalling installation and testing work.

There will still be a need for weekend closures to upgrade track and platforms, however these will be contained in much smaller geographical areas and will not mean closures to full lines as has been experienced during previous upgrade work on other lines.

LU Managing Director Mike Brown said:

“This is a major step forward in our plan to upgrade the Tube and will mean faster, more frequent and reliable Tube services for Londoners. Furthermore, throughout this process, it was imperative that not only would the contract offer value for fare payers’ and taxpayers’ money, but that the new signalling would be installed with less disruption."

“We know that full line closures are particularly disruptive to our customers and have been working closely with Madrid Metro to learn from their experience. As a result, we insisted that those bidding for this contract found innovative ways to deliver the new signalling system without the need for the level of closures we have seen on other lines, and I’m pleased Bombardier have committed to that.”
http://www.rail.co/2011/04/12/signal...ube-services/#
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #1935
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Old April 13th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #1936
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Old April 13th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #1937
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Old April 13th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #1938
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Boris is a superstar
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Old April 14th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #1939
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He makes politics more funny and less formal.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 01:44 AM   #1940
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