Metropolitan Line – FOI Request

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to find out more about why there was such a disastrous launch of the new signalling equipment between Finchley Road and Euston Square stations, on the Metropolitan line on w/c 2nd September.

  1. Who took the decision to launch the new signalling on Monday 2nd September?
  2. When was this decision made?
  3. When did management realise that not enough drivers had been trained to use the new signalling equipment?
  4. Would there have been a financial cost to TFL had the launch been delayed, to allow more time to train drivers to use the new signalling equipment? If so, can you quantify it – I appreciate that exact figures may not be available. A ballpark figure would be sufficient.
  5. Are any bonuses paid to any members of TFL management based on the on-time delivery of the signalling modernisation of the Metropolitan line? If so, are you able to release details of potential bonus amounts and to whom?

Kind regards
James Winfield – a long-suffering Metropolitan line customer.

******

Dear Mr Winfield

TfL Ref: FOI-1790-1920

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 14 September 2019, asking about the Metropolitan line signalling modernisation.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require. You asked:

  1. Who took the decision to launch the new signalling on Monday 2nd September?

The decision was made by the London Underground directors based on recommendations from the project team. The programme has been working towards this commissioning for a number months but in particular there were two weekend closures over the summer where the signalling was tested and drivers were familiarised on the 20th / 21st of July and 10th / 11th August. In summary the recommendation to proceed with the launch was based on the culmination of the completion of the testing and commissioning programmes underpinned by the results from the operational proving weekends.

  1. When was this decision made?

The final decision to proceed with the launch was made on 28 August 2019.

  1. When did management realise that not enough drivers had been trained to use the new signalling equipment?

All train operators were fully trained and certified to operate the new signalling system prior to its introduction. However, in addition and as part of our commitment to safety, all train operators had to be accompanied through the new section by an Instructor Operator the first few times they went through the new commissioned signalling area. We refer to this as ‘familiarisation’. The need to familiarise train operators is why we had to operate a reduced service.

It should also be noted that we expected that there would be some delays to the Metropolitan line services once the new signalling system was live, so ahead of the launch, we rolled out a programme of communications to inform our customers and stakeholders of the anticipated disruption.

An unexpected challenge we faced on the Monday following introduction was that a number of train operators weren’t able to complete familiarisation due to a defective train at Finchley Road preventing trains getting through the area. This, as well as other minor operational incidents unrelated to the signalling, had a knock on impact on the availability of train operators and delayed the broader familiarisation plan. This all meant that the rate at which drivers could be fully familiarised during the first week was slower than anticipated

  1. Would there have been a financial cost to TFL had the launch been delayed, to allow more time to train drivers to use the new signalling equipment? If so, can you quantify it – I appreciate that exact figures may not be available. A ballpark figure would be sufficient.

Had the launch been delayed to accommodate ‘driver familiarisation’ then we would have had to accommodate additional line closure/closures in the overall Four Line Modernisation Programme. This would carry a cost of around £300,000/closure to the programme but is entirely dependent on the volume of closures required and the associated impact on the Four Line Modernisation programme in its entirety.

  1. Are any bonuses paid to any members of TFL management based on the on-time delivery of the signalling modernisation of the Metropolitan line? If so, are you able to release details of potential bonus amounts and to whom?

No bonuses are paid to any TfL management as a direct consequence of the delivery of the signalling modernisation of the Metropolitan line.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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