Last week l went to one of my local tube stations, Edgware Rd on the Circle /District/ City & Hammersmith lines to see the arm-pit of the sub-surface lines that go through the station, with its pre-war signal box dating back to 1928 ( see above photo ) !
Now that it’s all going to be brought in-house, it made me wonder what has been done on the oldest part of the tube system in London between Paddington and Farringdon under the PPP contracts. It is quite extraordinary that the oldest part of the tube system – to the best of my recollection – has yet to see any works like station refurbishment, track renewal or signal replacements under the PPP or otherwise, and if the sight of the pre-war signal box at Edgware Road station is anything to go by, it could do with some urgent works. No wonder we have such delays at this important junction in the tube system, with knock on effects on the rest of the system.
This week I was able to bring up the Circle line and the signal box at Edgware Road at the London Assembly’s Transport Committee meeting on Wednesday with Mike Brown, the new Managing Director of London Underground. He was happy for it to be raised, though he didn’t acknowledge the problems the service has had since being extended to Hammersmith. He has already said that once the PPP comes completely in-house at the end of June he wants to look at the possibility of doing works during weekdays, dropping the boundaries between work done under the different PPP contracts and re-ordering the work sequences between the different lines. Let’s hope he looks at the oldest section of the tube system again, in light of the state of technology along it.