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Bechtel’s Impact Report

London Underground Upgrade

United Kingdom
London Underground

London Underground Upgrade

A Bechtel consortium worked to upgrade the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines of the tube, London's historic underground subway system, which was the first in the world and built over 150 years ago. The three lines accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Underground's total length. The Bechtel consortium worked in partnership with London Underground to design and build infrastructure including trains, signaling, tracks, bridges, drainage, escalators, and lifts.

Fast Facts

The modernization of the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines included installing a new signaling system and updating or upgrading:

  • 251 trains
  • 100 stations
  • 187 miles (about 300 kilometers) of track
  • 2,395 bridges and other structures, 227 escalators
  • 71 lifts 
  • A new signaling system made perhaps the most dramatic difference—providing a better, safer service and a higher level of reliability.

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Extraordinary preparation and planning

To keep the Underground running throughout the project, contractors and crews performed their work during a small window of opportunity when the trains stopped running—between 1am and 5 am —which required extraordinary preparation and planning.
The renovation and upgrade work on the three Underground lines set the stage for development and redevelopment, and created a rail connection to Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. The work was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. 

Project funding

Funding for the project was facilitated by Bechtel Enterprises, our financing and development arm, which helped Tube Lines arrange a financial package that involved 29 banks, then also assisted with a restructuring that converted the package to a successful bond issue.