The Jubilee line upgrade is now essentially complete, after nearly six years of constant weekend closures. Although there is one more scheduled weekend closure on 4/5 September between West Hampstead and Stanmore to finish off some signalling work, the benefits of the upgrade can be already noticed.

End to end journey times on the line between Stanmore and Stratford have decreased by four minutes, from 64 to 60, a reduction of 6.25%, although Transport for London had indicated journey times would decrease by 22%.

Automatic Train Operation (ATO) is now in use throughout the entire line, with the Dollis Hill to Stanmore section being the last to be re-signalled.

As a result of the new signalling system, the headway between trains can safely be smaller, so the frequency of the service is improved. There are now 27 trains per hour (every 2.22 minutes) during peak times, compared to 24tph before (every 2.5 minutes). From January 2012 there will be an extra 3 tph, bringing to total to 30 tph (every 2 minutes).

Pre-31 July 2011:

– Northbound/Westbound to Willesden Green, every 3 – 5 minutes)
– Northbound/Westbound to Stanmore, every 3 – 8 minutes)
– Southbound/Eastbound to Stratford, every 3 – 5 minutes)

Post-31 July 2011:

– Northbound/Westbound to Willesden Green, every 2 – 4 minutes
– Northbound/Westbound to Stanmore, every 2 – 6 minutes
– Southbound/Eastbound to Stratford, every 2 – 4 minutes

This also means that Platform 3 at Stanmore can now finally be opened, as the old signalling system prevented the platform to be used. Platform 3 is a side platform and it was built a few years ago, but it remained unopened until recently.

Overall, capacity on the line will be increased by a third, meaning that an extra 12,500 people can travel on the line per hour. Capacity was also increased in December 2005, when a seventh car was added.

It may be London’s newest Underground line, but it operates on some of the oldest sections of the network; for example, the section between Finchley Road and West Hampstead was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1879.

Elsewhere on the Underground, the rollout of the new Victoria Line rolling stock is now also complete.

All the new 47 trains on the Victoria line, known as 2009 stock, are now in service (although only 43 are required for the peak service). This comes just over a month after the last 1967 stock was operated – the point at which LUL had enough new trains (and the signalling in place) to mean the 1967 stock was no longer needed.

The new trains take advantage of the slightly wider than normal tunnels, being 40mm wider than their predecessors. They also have wider doors, dedicated wheelchair spaces, full CCTV coverage, and onboard audio-visual announcements.

The completion of the rollout of the new trains comes almost exactly 40 years after the Brixton extension of the Victoria line was opened, on 23 July 1971. The first section of the line opened between Walthamstow Central and Highbury & Islington on 1 September 1968. Highbury & Islington to Warren Street was opened on 1 December 1968, with the rest of the original line to Victoria opening on 7 March 1969, by the Queen. Pimlico was the last station to open on the line, on 14 September 1972, having been added to the project after tunnelling for the Brixton extension had already started. Incidentally, it is the only station on the line that doesn’t have platform humps, where there is a slope up upon arrival to the station and a slope down upon departure; designed to save energy using gravity.

Work to finish removing the old signalling system will be concluded next year in 2012. The new signalling system means that train frequency can be improved, as trains will be able to safely run closer together, from the current 28 trains per hour (tph) to 30 tph in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

When the upgrade is completed in 2012, there will be the capacity for an extra 10,000 passengers per hour, an increase of 21%.

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There are 40 comments on this article
  1. Sash says:

    So is 33 TPH on the Jubilee an Olympics only thing?

  2. Paul says:

    With regard to TfL's 22% figure for decreasing journey times on the Jubilee, this number includes the average amount of time waiting on platforms.

    As the TPH has gone up (and will go up again), on average, you will wait less, thus reducing your journey time.

    This, on top of the straight speed increase, combines to produce 22% (although, obviously with another TPH boost to come, we are not there yet).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tfl's website shows 4 more closures, not one, stretching to the middle of October. Not sure if this is due to work on the Met line and the need to close both down around Neasden.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am just happy that trains no longer stop halfway between St Johns Wood and Baker Street

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or are the new annoucements on the Met and Vic really annoying? The high-pitched female voice which constantly says the same thing over and over, with weird intonation (like on the Circle, H&C and Wimbleware).

    Before I could actually read my book the whole journey without getting distracted, and generally the driver's voice (who tends to be male) is authoritative enough to attract my attention when there is something important (and can be ignored on the rare times he says something not useful). Also whatever happened to proper grammar?

  6. Mikey C says:

    Pimlico was the last station to open on the line, on 14 September 1972, having been added to the project after tunnelling for the Brixton extension had already started. Incidentally, it is the only station on the line that doesn't have platform humps, where there is a slope up upon arrival to the station and a slope down upon departure; designed to save energy using gravity.
    A slight correction, platform humps are the raised sections of the platform (usuually in the middle) to make it easier for wheelchairs/pushchairs etc to get on the train.

  7. George Moore says:

    @ Mikey:
    Yes, thanks, I realised just after it went up. I got confused between humped stations and platform humps. I gave the definition for humped stations. I've emailed John Bull about this so when he reads my email he should change it.

  8. James says:

    Good news all round, however the real test of the new systems will be hohow lonw they recover from a stalled train, or other incident bringing the line to a standstill from a prolonged period of time.

    The other worrying think that come to mind is how long this extra room will last before it fills up, and we're back to square one with rammed trasin after years of closures

  9. Anonymous says:

    Forgive me if I fail to be anything other than utterly underwhelmed by this news, but six years of mismanaged line closures never results in a triumphant conclusion. The so-called upgrade of the Jubilee line has been a total fiasco. Rail replacement bus services juddering up the Edgware Road (blocked by incompetently timed roadworks), the simultaneous closures of the Met Line and London Overground – did Boris really want to turn NW London into some sort of wasteland? Abandon London! It's a hellhole!

  10. Greg Tingey says:

    Anonymous @ 18.24 on 2nd August.
    I find the constant stream of "announcements" really annoying.

    I protested to LUL, and got a load of unctuous lies in response.

    Here you go, see how many mos-statements and downright lies you can find in this:
    "We do what we can to keep announcements to a minimum, and reduce them where possible. It is necessary to make announcements regularly because not all customers who travel on the Tube are as familiar with the system as regular commuters. It is also necessary to make announcements because not everyone who travels by underground is able to assimilate written information.Relying solely on visual information would disadvantage people with visual impairments or people with learning difficulties. Given the amount of customers who use the Tube network at any one time, providing regular updates confirming that the service is running well provides assurance to customers using that particular line or a combination of lines.

    We are required to make many of the security announcements you hear by Her Majesty’s Government and we currently give these out at a far lesser frequency than Department of Transport (DfT) (TRANSEC) wish."

    Well, they plainly have never been on the Paris Metro, where announcements are kept to a minimum, so that you pay attention, when one IS made ….

  11. George Moore says:

    They wouldn't record and play the announcements if they weren't trying to help. I personally think LUL needs more safety announcements, such as "Hold the handrail" and "Let passesngers off first".

    I agree with what LUL said to you: you and I may know the ins and outs of the Underground, but there are many users of the underground who don't. Announcements, that may be obvious and annoying for you, are actually doing a good job for those who don't have a clue about, for example, what the next station is.

    This is a system for all, which means Londoners and tourists, not just Londoners.

  12. tripleseis says:

    I wish FCC had on-board announcements for their trains. Some of their stations on the ECML are very badly lit so you need to constantly look out of the window at night to know where your stop is.

  13. Kit Green says:


    As an occasional passenger on FCC in South London I am pleased to travel in relative tranquillity without the verbal diarrhoea I am used to on the Underground and South Eastern Trains.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Generally, I am for automated announcements. Only commuters get irritated by them, and they are usually the worst people to speak to for opinions on a universal, quality transport service.

    Having said that, I think TfL have gone overboard. They have so many that people just ignore them. They are also useless at updating them – last week I was at Oxford Circus on a Bakerloo line train that wasn't going anywhere.

    The driver told us there were signal problems, the platform staff member told us there were signal problems, the automated announcement kept repeating there was a good service on the line. If you can't properly update them every time, then you shouldn't use them.

    Announcement on buses are a godsend!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Surely there doesn't need to one telling 'there is a good service on all underground lines' every few mins. Just tell us when there is a problem and we'll assume all is well when nothing is said – no news is good news!

    It's not automated, but there is a guy who does the northbound services at Finchley Road (not always him) who is really annoying, he repeats so much and you can see people getting pissed. You don't need to say 'next stop harrow-on-the-hill' three times in about 8 seconds.

  16. plcd1 says:

    Sorry to be picky but there are presently only 44 of the 09 stock trains delivered for use on the Victoria Line. I travelled on train 44, quite by accident, last Wednesday morning on the way to work. 3 remain outstanding and from the District Dave blog it would seem that Bombardier are building two extra trains to replace the two initial build trains that will be scrapped. Therefore 5 trains are awaited.

    I also doubt very much that 43 are presently needed for service given there is a series of planned timetable improvements that will add to the total peak requirement. If they were using 43 today LU would run out of train fleet for the future enhanced services!

  17. George Moore says:

    Sorry, what I meant was when I wrote that was after the upgrade in 2012. LUL currently needs 37 trains to run the peak service.

    I am not completely sure if all the train are in service myself, but I am taking TfL's word for it, as that's what they said.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well, they have the automated ones, the driver, and the person on the platform who doesn't always seem to look at the whole train before raising his signal. They say "let the passengers off first" so many times, commuters get annoyed and tourists are too busy checking where they are that they don't listen, or can't understand Cockney / Indian anyway.

    Probably a good thing that he says "next stop harrow" as opposed to "next stop wembley", at least once anyway. The stupidest thing I've heard these few weeks is the driver saying "There is no service between HSK and Edgware Rd" on the Jubilee line NORTHBOUND FROM BAKER ST!! Once, he also said there were delays on the DLR as we were pullign into St Johns Wood…

    Also, I don't really care if LU regards their service as "good". In passenger terms, the service is good when the next train is due in less 2 minutes, and isn't packed, and isn't stopped at Hyde Park Corner for 10 minutes to regulate some gap! Why not go to Green Park and wait so that people can get off and change, and those who aren't can sit down!

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    Well George Moore
    It is unbelievably annoying to be hectored every 30 seconds-to-2minutes by an electronic moron, repeating itself.
    Particularly as at least 95% of said naaoncement ARE NOT NEEDED.
    How on earth di we manage 1864 – 2002 without them?
    Quite well, actually!

    Anonymous …
    And when you get the automated announcement AND the platform announcement AND the automated "Bleep" all at once and "stand clear of the doors" 32 times between Walthamstow & Green Park, and ….
    Oh yes: "Stand behind the yellow line at all times" – when the train doors are open – erm if you obeyed that no-one would be able to get either on or off the train ….

    More to the point, if something different or serious happens, then we want and need announcements.
    But the running dribble of verbal excrement from some orifice or other, makes sure no-one actually takes any notice of anything (other than to get annoyed) … And when a real emergency happens – what then?

    rather than
    corporate play-at-"safety"
    There is a real and vital difference.

  20. Fandroid says:

    I've now been on enough of the new Victoria line trains to form an opinion: I'm seriously disappointed at the background noise levels inside the trains – and that's ignoring the announcements. The track noise still intrudes mightily, and added to that is the ventilation system, which seems to overlay the track noise with a heavy sound of a different pitch. The latter is somehow worse overall than the ventilation noise on older trains. Although if you sit right by the vents on the latter, it can be deafening. There was a time when there was a danger of hearing loss due to the hideous track squeal at Seven Sisters, but they do seem to have averaged that out a bit! Coming to the announcements – they are just not audible enough when the trains are between stations. The female voice is near enough in pitch to the track noise to be obscured. My hearing may have diminished with age but it's still pretty good, and there are a lot of folk travelling on the tube who probably cannot understand a word, especially all those tourists that TfL worry about who do not have English as a first language.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bloody hell Greg, you really are an angry young man, aren't you?

    I don't find the announcements particularly annoying. As someone else said, the tube is a service for all, not just commuters.

  22. T33 says:

    I'm with Greg! Lets reduce the announcements to a simple "This is a Victoria Line train to xxx and The next station is …" on departure, plus "We will shortly arrive at xxxx"

    That is definitely enough and I can then get on with my life in-between.

    As for the "Jubilee Line is running a Good service" being announced for the 14th time at London Bridge when I have just watched the 3rd train leave that I couldn't squeeze into – I'm getting…. Shall we just say a little angry

  23. George Moore says:

    @ Greg Tingey:

    No need to get over-defensive and aggressive!

    I have the right to my own opinion, and that is that announcements on the Underground are useful, maybe not for you or me, but for people who are not familiar with the city.

    I do agree that announcing that there is a "good service" every two minutes can be quite annoying, but all of the other announcemnts are just helping people get around London.

    What happened in the past is not the point here. TfL wouldn't have introduced the automated platform or train announcements if they didn't think they were needed.

    If you are annoyed and angered by seemingly 'constant' announcements, then my advice to you is not travel by Tube at all. LUL is not going to change its announcements for one person!

    Also, there have been announcements way back before 2002. The 1995 stock on the Northern line and 1996 stock on the Jubilee line? And the first ever automated onboard announcements from 1993 on the Central line's 1992 stock? And, even before then, there were manual announcements, reminding people to "Mind the Gap".

    And by the way, the first section of the London Underground as we know it today opened in 1863, not 1864.

    Remember: the London Underground is for all, not just its regulars!

    And Greg, calm down!

  24. Chris M says:

    Regarding the announcements, there are a mixture of necessary, useful and unnecessary ones given.

    The essential ones are:
    This is a X line train to Y
    The next station is Z
    This is Z

    The useful ones are:
    The next train is for X
    ..Change/alight (here) for Y
    Closures/severe delays on the entire system (when not on a train)
    Closures/severe delays for relevant parts of the system (when on a train)
    Other disruption on very relevant parts of the network (wherever you are – I'm at Canning Town northbound platform, I care about the Central is closed at Stratford. I don't care about minor delays between Earl's Court and Wimbledon)
    Advance notice of engineering works

    Everything else is unnecessary, but particularly
    Disruption to irrelevant parts of the system. The DLR is irrelevant to those heading west from Rayners Lane for example.
    Next station X (except where different to normal). Unless Chalk Farm is closed, it will always be the next station for southbound trains from Belsize Park. There are much better ways to cater for those who can't assimilate visual information (e.g. audio tube maps).
    Information about yesterday's engineering works.
    There is a good service operating on all London Underground lines. We expect this, you don't need to be told – particularly when it's incorrect (It's rush hour. There is a train in the platform at Bethnal Green eastbound, it's been there for 10 minutes. It's clear to everybody there is not a good service on the Central Line.)
    Contradictory information (I spent 20 minutes on the platform at what is now Shepherd's Bush Market listening to two recorded announcers disagreeing about whether the District Line had delays or not)

  25. Anonymous says:

    "Contradictory information (I spent 20 minutes on the platform at what is now Shepherd's Bush Market listening to two recorded announcers disagreeing about whether the District Line had delays or not)"

    -I keep hearing those. Reminds me of "Airplane'! No Parking in the white zone….

    I wish the announcements for the next station on the visual displays came sooner. They only really crop up just before the station and in the mean time just read "This is a Victoria Line train". I know its a bloody Victoria line train, that's why I got on it! Problem is I read the paper and forgot what the last station was so I want to know where I am!

  26. Greg Tingey says:

    I'm an angry OLD man, actually.
    I started using the Victoria Line for regular commuting within a couple of months of its opening to H&I.
    As for "it's for all the users" well, yes, but ONE: The "announcements" will NOT inform visitors – see my comments on my being able to negotiate the Paris Metro and TWO: of course they are royally piossing-off the 90% of their PAYING CUSTOMERS who ARE regular users.
    I think the most egregious I've heard was: "This is a Piccadilly line train …" at Holloway Road! What else is it going to be?

    I'm not the only one, eiher.
    Several prominent railway journos have started to notice the creeping-up of similar repeated aural excrement on "BR" lines, and they don't like it, either.

    And, unfortunately, there are times when using the tube is necessary – I'm a Londoner, after all.

    The "announcement" craze is a bit reminiscent of the unctuous squirt "Billy Brown of London Town" whose nannying was so loathed by wartime Londoners.

    And that is what this is – nannying.

  27. tripleseis says:

    @Kit Green

    fair enough. But when you have stations where some signs are now practically unreadable (that I mean vandalised or simply worn away and FFC can't be arse to fix them) and lighting from the 1800s, a little announcement from the driver wouldn't go amiss.

    Hopefully, London Overground will eventually inherit the Great Northern services from Moorgate/Kings Cross and we can have some real investment on those lines.
    (Going off topic here so I'm going to shut up now!)

  28. tripleseis says:

    Regarding announcements in general…

    I quite like how they are done in other European countries. They are simple eg.

    "Next station: xxxxxxxxxx"
    "Change for: Line 1 and 5"
    "Destination: yyyyyyyyyyy"

    Some metro systems will even let you know what buses you can transfer to. I always thought that would be handy for London (obviously not for all stations because some are served by lots of bus routes especially in the centre, but for the suburbs this could be incredibly handy for some travellers needing to travel onwards).

  29. Anonymous says:

    "There is one more scheduled weekend closure on 4/5 September between West Hampstead and Stanmore."
    In my diary 4 and 5 September are a Sunday and Monday. But how would TfL know what day of the week it's planning for?

    Will anyone be sacked if this is not the last weekend closure before the Olympics?

  30. Living In London Guide says:

    Fingers crossed we see some improvements…we'll see!

  31. Fandroid says:

    You guys have it easy with announcements! I travelled today on a 12 coach SWT train bound for Portsmouth via Basingstoke. There are loads of stops and just about all of them cannot cope with 12 coaches. Some only manage 4. The guard, assisted by the talking robot, explained the situation before every station, starting with 'if you can hear this announcement, you are in the wrong part of the train'. In contrast, German U-bahn & S-bahn train announcements limit themselves to ' Next station *******, change here for lines X,Y,Z. Exit on the right/left side in the direction of travel' I think the 'direction of travel' bit is superfluous, but I forgive them that as I have never yet been asked to 'mind the gap' even when exiting requires a mighty leap!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Greg Tingey said… "I think the most eGREGious I've heard was: "This is a Piccadilly line train …" at Holloway Road! What else is it going to be?"

    Useful info for people whose sight is worse then yours. I do worry about your blood pressure.

  33. Mikey C says:

    They do need to cut down on the "there is a good service on all lines" type messages, as if you're faced with a crowded platform or 10 minute gap it's annoying, and is a bit smug anyway.

    If you went into Tescos and there was a tannoy message saying 'we have a wide selection of fruit and veg', you'd consider it rather pointless as surely that's what they should have anyway!

  34. George Moore says:

    @ Mikey C:

    I agree with that, but all the other announcements are (mostly) useful. We should always assume that there is a good service on all lines unless told otherwise. We don't need to be told all the time (but occasionally would still be good"

    Also, I don't think they should call it a "Good Service". What is 'good' about it? It would be much better if it was called a "Normal Service" or "No Disruptions".

  35. Greg Tingey says:

    You are plainly trolling, or plainly stupid, or both.

    A "partially-sighted" person would ALREADY KNOW that it was a piccadilly line train, at Holloway Road, wouldn't they?
    Whether getting ON or OFF.

  36. George Moore says:

    I think this is getting very off-topic. This post is about the Jubilee line upgrade being just about finished and the Victoria line's new trains having all been delivered.

    Now we are talking about announcements on the Piccadilly line?

    Going back to what this post is about, I think that the new service on the Jubilee has been excellent (with the exception of last night when a person went under a train at Wembley Park). Trains were supposed to arrive every 2.22 minutes, but when I spent about 5 minutes standing on the platform timing train intervals it came up as every 90 seconds! But then again the fourth train was three minutes behind the third so that probably evened it out a bit. Anyone else noticed a train every 90 seconds for five minutes then the next one three minutes away?

  37. Fandroid says:

    Doing as we're told (quite rightly) and going back to the original subject: I am mystified as to how an increase in service level from 28 tph to 30 tph on the Victoria Line equates to a 21% increase in capacity. Has the introduction of the new trains already involved an increase to 28 tph. The trains are presumably not any longer. I guess they may have more cramming capacity due to sideways only seating plus more fold-up seats allowing more standing room. Anyone who knows the answer? I am a bit interested because every now and then I have an urgent journey from Paddington to Denmark Hill, and would dearly love there to be an interchange with the SLL at Brixton. A valid argument against this in other posts has been the current overloading of the Victoria line.

  38. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Actually the new trains are longer.
    The original 1967 stock train length was limited by the need for the driver to see the external monitor on the platform. Part of the work for introducing the trains involved installing new stop marks closer to the tunnel mouth to take into account the greater length. The new and old can, or could, be clearly seen by wandering to the front of the platform.

    However the extra length is not that great. I think the extra capacity is based on slightly longer and wider trains with fewer seats plus a capacity (tph) increase.

  39. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Actually the new trains are longer.
    The original 1967 stock train length was limited by the need for the driver to see the external monitor on the platform. Part of the work for introducing the trains involved installing new stop marks closer to the tunnel mouth to take into account the greater length. The new and old can, or could, be clearly seen by wandering to the front of the platform.

    However the extra length is not that great. I think the extra capacity is based on slightly longer and wider trains with fewer seats plus a capacity (tph) increase.

  40. George Moore says:

    Pedantic is right.

    The new trains are longer, wider and the seating arrangement is different. The old trains had some transverse seating, which took up a lot of space, whereas the new trains only has longitudinal seating.

    Also, there are dedicated wheelchair spaces, which can be used for standing passengers if they are not required for wheelchair users.

    Furthermore, the doors are wider, so there is more standing room.

    The service level will increase from 28tph to 30tph before the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will subsequently increase to 33tph.

    All that adds up to 21% extra capacity.

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