New traction systems for LU’s Central line

Photo: Bombardier.
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Bombardier Transportation has been awarded a contract to upgrade the trains on London Underground’s Central line.

Worth around £112 million, the contract is to supply new traction motors and control equipment for the 85 eight-car trains that run between West Ruislip and Epping, a distance of 46 miles. Bombardier will also supply maintenance support until 2024.

Under the new contract, the current DC traction motors will be replaced by Mitrac AC systems and control equipment, reducing energy consumption and simultaneously improving reliability and performance.

The contract will be led by engineers from Bombardier’s traction and control centre in Västeras, Sweden, while the installation for the first train, including integration and testing, will be carried out at the company’s Litchurch Lane site in Derby.

Commenting on the award, London Underground managing director Mark Wild said: “The Central line is one of the busiest and most important lines on the London Underground network. We are making a number of improvements to reduce delays and make the line more reliable for our customers.

“Installing new motors is one of the most important parts of this work, and will mean we can deliver a more reliable service to our customers, which will in turn boost capacity.”

The retraction programme will form part of CLIP (the Central Line Improvement Programme), aimed at improving reliability and significantly reducing the number of failures that affect performance and passenger confidence.

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