Stages 1/2 CBTC up and running!

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The end of the through platforms at Baker Street showing the new CBTC signs. The colour light signals are all clearly wrapped up in black.

This is just a quick post covering some elements of this afternoon’s CBTC services on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith Lines. Staff told me it was going quite well, some small problems however but nothing serious, they didn’t say what though. However I too found a problem with the CBTC system which no-one had been aware of – I reported it to TfL staff and they reported it to their engineers and Thales. It wasn’t a critical problem but it did show an anomaly was occurring at Baker Street.

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Baker Street this afternoon, showing the rare destination for Tower Hill!

The three sub surface lines opened at 12.30pm today and services have been running since although even at the time I was on it, this being around 5pm, trains and platforms were still quite empty of passengers. The Metropolitan is apparently running its special shuttle services throughout today thus its a chance to have a rare passenger trip down the tunnels via the Swiss Cottage crossover!

Stages 1/2 is also the first time any substantial length of sub-surface underground line has been included in TfL’s huge modernisation scheme.

This post has been prepared quite quickly thus the pictures are not the usual standard I try to achieve!

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Euston Square’s eastbound coffee pot stays active for now! Its the ONLY coffee pot signal left at work on the original 1863 Metropolitan Railway section!

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Euston Square’s w/b, as well as Great Portland Street’s and Baker Street’s coffee pots have now all been wrapped up.

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Eastbound train arriving at Euston Square. Much like Stage 0.5 of the CBTC at Latimer Road, staff (see on the w/ platform) will be in attendance for a few days at Euston Square to ensure there is smooth running and assist any train operators who may have problems with the new ATO system.

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Euston Square’s indicator showing the special Finchley Road only trains.

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Train coming through the tunnel from Great Portland Street. One used to be able to see signals along the tunnel from Euston Square but its all dark now!

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Great Portland Street, 17.20pm and there are no passengers in sight! There was however two men on the other platform nearer towards Euston Square.

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The Metropolitan’s special shuttle service between Finchley Road and Euston Square continued today. These were actually going to Aldgate.

Baker Street’s signals are all wrapped up. However its a very dark station to take pictures at and the fact the signals are wrapped in black makes it even more difficult to get good pictures, so I have left that out for now.

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From Baker Street station one used to see FOUR lots of signals along this tunnel towards Edgware Road. One of these four signals can just about be made out in the distance, nearly parallel to the front of this train. Like the other tunnels its all darkness now… The train seen in the picture has just left Edgware Road station.

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Edgware Road’s eastern side showing wrapped up signals and newly uncovered CBTC signage.

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Down on the tracks in the station all the tripcock mechanisms have been set to their lower position as they are no longer needed.

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The signal cabin is silent, although the door is slightly ajar. Perhaps some important visitors in there having a look at the now defunct lever frame and control panels?

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Most of Edgware Road’s signals are Westinghouse and Saxby from the 1920s, and this, the westbound platform starter has been wrapped.

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New CBTC signs at the western end of the station platforms. The old order (signals and signs) are of course wrapped up.

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The eastbound variable speed indicator is under wraps now as are five of the station’s six (I think) such indicators.

It still doesn’t answer one question I have – and that is whether the quite new RSR123 detectors are being used under CBTC.

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The further eastbound variable speed indicator too.

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This one, the eastbound variable speed indicator into platform 2 has not been wrapped. I don’t know why. Maybe it was overlooked?

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This is one piece of signalling equipment at Edgware Road that wont be wrapped up any time soon! Its a Westinghouse Brake & Signal control (maybe junction) box high up on the walls.

Update 1st Sept 2019 23.45am:

A few pictures from this evening, featuring mainly the Metropolitan line.

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Trains to Finchley Road only!

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The train for Finchley Road arrives at Baker Street.

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All aboard the midnight express to Finchley Road! (actually it was the 20.50!)

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Arrival at Finchley Road and TfL staff makes sure everyone gets off. People could in fact stay on the train to go the other way – but one had to be a little insistent about it because staff come and ask what one is doing on the train.

On the first trip southwards from Finchley Road there were just two people, me and another guy, clearly an enthusiast. On the second trip I had the entire train to myself!

This is the supervisor at Euston Square whose role is to make sure there are no problems with trains entering the CBTC section here and to assist with any technical difficulties. His role is sort of the same job as that which was seen in March of this year at Latimer Road, it being that of a line controller. There was also another one at Edgware Road.

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I could not have shouted at the guy and asked him to pose, I was on a train home and stood by the doors, so I just took the picture, and when he looked I waved and reminded him we had met earlier (becos we discussed the CBTC and also my having to wear the orange uniform on Friday night) and we had a little laugh. When he remembered who I was he was absolutely fine and then I indicated this was for blogging and he said that was no problems either.

Most of the time there was a train driver sat here too (not the same guy all the time though this is the third I have seen) and presumably they were here to assist train drivers if there were any difficulties. I expect this will be the situation here for a few days where there’s a controller and another train driver on standby.

Clearly when they are no longer required to be present at Euston Square, I think that will be the point at which TfL feels confident that the whole of Stage 1/2 of the ATO (CBTC) can progress pretty much under its own steam.

Just a point of note. If one looks at my previous post on the intro of the Hammersmith CBTC (or any other blog that covered this) it will be seen the look of the system there (being Stage 0.5) and this one (Stage 1/2) is so completely different and clearly TfL/Thales have changed many things from that original stage because it means a better system overall.

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