A lead in one of the comments on the London Reconnections tube piece digs up yet another silly new project name – ‘Jubilee Line World Class Capacity’.  This is related to the reported interest in purchasing more trains and has a hefty price tag of £251m.  The first mention seems to be in a 3rd October 2013 meeting of the Projects and Planning Panel:

It was confirmed that the majority of the estimated final cost of £251m for the Jubilee Line World Class Capacity Project was allocated to new rolling stock, with the remainder to be used for infrastructure.

A reference appears in the latest PMPA for the 9th January meeting giving an estimated date of project approval in about six months time, which will be interesting to watch.  Notably here we have the conflict between wanting a homogenous fleet of trains (for maintenance) and wanting cabless trains (for Boris’s vainglorious Crow-bashing reasons).  Additionally the need is driven by the capacity crunch existing on the line now, which makes any choice of entirely new stock extremely risky and largely impossible on timeline grounds.  This means the odds have to be on a new build of an existing fleet.

£251m is about 25% of the entire Victoria Line upgrade, including new trains and signalling.  Given that that was 47 new trains and a lot more infrastructure, £251m sounds about right for 16 new Jubilee trains, as reported by Modern Railways – a rough smell test at 7 cars per train and assuming £50m is infrastructure comes out at £1.75m per car.  The previous Jubilee Line upgrade (7th car plus four new 7 car trains) was £160m for 87 cars, £1.8m, but costs might have been higher under PPP.  The similarity in costs and low number of trains also strongly indicates this is a new build of existing designs as there’s no slack to cover an entirely new design and you wouldn’t do that for 16 trains.

So the only question is how Boris is going to spin retreating from the promise to order no new cabbed trains along with employing another bunch of new train operators, union membership and all.  Let’s just remind ourselves of that pre-election promise:

Mr Johnson, who is standing for re-election in May, said if returned to office he would not buy new Tube trains with drivers’ cabs.

They’ll probably claim they’re renting them, or it’s not a cab, it’s a bedroom, or that they’re not really new designs, just new old designs or some such bull.

 
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