THE FIRST 5·6 km of London Underground’s Jubilee Line Extension was finally opened to passengers on May 14 by British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. He welcomed ’a major milestone on the way towards completion of a brand new tube line that will prove to be a true asset to the capital.’ Journey time between Stratford and North Greenwich is 7 1/2 min, including intermediate stops at West Ham and Canning Town. Five trains are available to cover the 6 min interval service.

The £2·1bn JLE between Green Park and Stratford was due to have been opened throughout in September 1997, but completion was delayed three times by problems with tunnelling, moving-block signalling, fitting out the stations, and systems integration. Last September London Transport brought in a team from Bechtel International to accelerate completion of the work and open the line in stages (RG 11.98 p753).

Opening the outer end of the line first ensures that metro access to the £750m Millennium Dome at North Greenwich is available for January 1 2000. According to the Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions, tracklaying has been completed on the whole line, but work is still under way on the signalling and stations for stages 2 and 3.

Trains are due to start running west from North Greenwich through Canary Wharf to Waterloo by ’late summer’, when the trains will run every 4 min. The final connection from Waterloo to Green Park is now scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.