LONDON Underground confirmed on February 9 that the start of public services on the £2·1bn Jubilee line extension from Green Park to Stratford would be postponed to ’the spring of 1999’. LU Managing Director Dennis Tunnicliffe said the delay resulted from problems with the moving-block signalling designed to achieve a capacity of 34 trains/h.

Pressed by the government to guarantee rail access to the planned Millenium exhibition at North Greenwich, LU has decided to install conventional fixed-block signalling on the extension. This will enable 24 trains/h to run through from Stanmore to Stratford. Plans to launch a shuttle service between Waterloo and Stratford from this September have been abandoned to simplify the installation of both the fixed block and moving block signalling. Westinghouse Signals is now expected to complete the moving-block installation on the original line and the extension by the end of 1999.

H On the same day, Railtrack Chief Executive Gerald Corbett confirmed that the company was interested in buying all or part of the Underground network. A government study into ways of raising private finance for modernisation of the network is thought to favour splitting the infrastructure into two or three private companies and retaining a unified operating company in the public sector. o