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London finally set to join the 24-hour a day metro club.

Posted by Luke Upton on Aug 17, 2016

Night Tube (SmartRail World)London is already a 24-hour city, and now, finally, its Underground network will follow in the footsteps of major European cities, as well as New York by working 24-hours a day… on a Friday and Saturday at least. Now as Londoners will know, and our more observant readers will remember, we first covered this idea in October 2014 and it was originally scheduled to launch in September 2015 in time for the Rugby World Cup. A combination of clumsy politics from outgoing Mayor Boris Johnson and intransigent trade unions nixed this original plan, but Friday 19th August will see 24-hour weekend services operating for the first time in London’s history. Demand has soared over recent years, with passenger numbers on Friday and Saturday nights up by around 70 per cent since 2000. The Night Tube will mean helping to cut night-time journeys by an average of 20 minutes (versus the bus), with some cut by more than an hour.

It will play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy to a host of new opportunities, supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting London’s economy by £360m according to London Underground figures. It will help late-night revellers and shift-workers who currently have to rely on night buses or mini-cabs to get back to outer London after the Tube shuts down around 12.30am.

Night Tube Poster (SmartRail World)

Across the Night Tube lines, you will be able to travel between Central London and the outskirts of the city and will complement existing Night bus services and London Taxi and Private Hire vehicles. Eight new night bus services are also to be launched to help Night Tube passengers complete their journey home.

The start of Night Tube services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will follow in two separate phases later in the autumn as new Tube drivers complete their training and final preparations are made. Around 200 part-time drivers took part in a 14-week training programme to make the Night Tube a reality.

New Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan ( @SadiqKhan ) said: "The Night Tube is absolutely vital to my plans to support and grow London's night time economy - creating more jobs and opportunities for all Londoners. The constant delays under the previous Mayor let Londoners down badly.”

Demand for night-time travel is on the rise. Late night Tube usage is increasing at double the rate of daytime trips and demand for travel on night buses has risen by over 170 per cent since 2000.

To meet the expected demand for Night Tube services, there will be six trains per hour through central London on all Night Tube lines between 0030 and 0530. This will rise to eight trains per hour on the Northern line to meet demand at busy stations between Leicester Square and Camden Town.Digital Guide: Urban Rail and Metro - solutions for a changing industry.

London will join just a handful of other international cities, including New York and Berlin, which also provide metro services through the night. Independent research into the economic benefits of the Night Tube has found that the new service will help maintain London’s status as a vibrant and exciting place to live in, work in and visit.

London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown, said: “It is good news for London that the first ever all-night Tube service will be ready on 19 August. More than half a million people use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and the introduction of the Night Tube, which will support London's businesses and jobs, is a historic step in our modernisation of the Underground and our work to support London’s economic growth."

Introducing a Night Tube service forms part of a major programme to modernise the Tube with stations, trains, track and signalling being updated or replaced to provide more capacity for a growing city 


Andy Bourne, (Head of Upgrades, Transport for London), David Price (Senior Engineer, Transport for London) and Ian Thompson (Project Engineer, Transport for London) will be joining a Senior Representative from Bombardier in speaking at SmartMetro in Copenhagen, 1st-3rd so click now to find out more.


If you liked finding out about the 24 hour tube you may also be interested in:

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London joins the 24-hour a day metro club... 2 days a week.

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Which is most expensive metro network in the world? 

SmartMetro 2016

Topics: Passenger Information Systems

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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