UK Power Networks Services will complete electrical infrastructure upgrades to allow a new fleet of trains to operate on the Piccadilly line, improving reliability and service frequency.
The project – which began in June 2022 and is scheduled to finish in June 2025 – will see UK Power Networks Services complete the design and construction works to upgrade several key electrical substations, and the installation of new electrical infrastructure, electrical control systems, and cables along key parts of the line. The initial framework contract runs for six years, with potential for two more.
All this will increase electrical capacity to allow Transport for London (TfL) to launch a new fleet of air-conditioned modern trains with improved reliability, efficiency, and accessibility for passengers. Overall, the line upgrade will allow for a 23% uplift in peak capacity, with a train running on the line every 135 seconds at the busiest times from 2027.
The announcement extends UK Power Networks Services’ longstanding portfolio on the London Underground. The infrastructure specialist has previously worked on several initiatives, including a major redevelopment at Liverpool Street as part of the Crossrail project, and 16 substation upgrades along the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and District lines.
The high voltage electrical upgrades will take place above and below ground at 21 electricity substations, with planned works at Cobourg Street, Manor House and Mansell Street. Electrical infrastructure benefits include the installation of new transformers, SCADA cabinets, an upgrade of the line’s cable network, and a host of structural improvements. Upgrades will be phased to minimise disruption for passengers, with the line scheduled to stay open throughout the project.
Philip Heathcote, Head of Markets at UK Power Networks Services, says: “We’re at our best when we partner with clients to make their long-term objectives a reality. Our teams are excited to bring their unique expertise to this long-term collaboration and add value though innovation, dedication, and a shared vision to make the London Underground more reliable for the future.”