derived from those used on the GEC Alsthom-built Class 465 EMUs. Performance, even in the ’detuned’ state running with old Jubilee trains, was also impressive. Passengers will certainly notice the powerful acceleration and braking when the trains begin operating on the new section of route, where their full performance potential can be exploited.

Staggered opening

Had all gone to plan, the Jubilee line would have already been nearing half a year of public service. Sadly, it was not to be - though much of the criticism of project managers and contractors voiced by local media is misplaced.

All was not going well even before the partial collapse of tunnelling work for the Heathrow Express project in October 1994, but the knock-on effects of precautionary work shut-downs and revision of tunnelling methods on the JLE have compounded the delays. Combined with the scale of technical innovation - three-phase drives, platform screen doors, CCTV platform surveillance transmitted direct to the cab, and moving block signalling - it is no wonder that LU now expects to open the extension as a separate line later this year, if necessary using the emergency back-up signalling, which limits trains to 4min headways.

Trains from Stratford would run as far as Waterloo, then use the crossover beyond the station to reach the eastbound tunnel. Passengers wanting to travel to stations on the existing Jubilee line would take the Bakerloo line from Waterloo to Baker Street, where cross-platform connections with the Jubilee minimise the inconvenience.

Opening with through running from old to new line was ruled out, even though the connection at Green Park is in regular use for empty stock movements. Failure of the moving block signalling would reduce the number of trains from 36 to 17 per hour each way, and with high passenger loadings on the Baker Street - Green Park section, that would cause unacceptable, and potentially unsafe, overcrowding.

Although London looks unlikely to get its first truly modern metro line completed for some months yet, they will at least be able to sample what’s in store when the new trains begin rolling on the eastern section at the end of September. o

CAPTION: John Self cuts the ribbon before the inaugural run of the first new Jubilee line train at Charing Cross on January 6