In order to develop our capabilities and help the industry focus on our challenges, we are undertaking a number of collaborative projects, involving multinational companies, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and academic institutions.

In the works 

Green lanes trial

Problem: Congestion on platforms due to bottlenecks at entrances and outside train doors.
Task: Encourage customers to move along the platform, and therefore not block those trying to board or get off the train.
Solution: Green lanes painted on the platform to encourage customers not to stop in certain areas. Being trialled at Kings Cross, on the southbound Victoria line.

Find out more about the green lanes trial

Crowding indicators

Crowding indicators

Problem: The space on trains and platforms is not always used as well as it could be. This leads to overcrowding and slow movement on and off trains.
Task: We need a better way to distribute passengers on platforms and on trains. This would reduce dwell time, increase capacity and improve customer comfort.
Solution: We are identifying technology solutions and design concepts to improve passenger information and increase capacity.

Read more about our work with crowding indicators

Software engineers design and build business applications using gaming technology

Virtual reality for 3D engineering modelling

Problem: Our railway simulators help us to identify solutions to increase capacity and reliability, but do not present the findings in a visual way.
Task: Create a system which presents complex, dynamic systems data in a more visual and accessible way.
Solution: Use crossover virtual reality and 3D graphics technologies from the gaming industry to visualise our performance modelling.

Read more about our use of virtual reality

Completed projects 

Drone inspections

Problem: Due to expensive overhead costs, maintenance and safety issue checks on our assets didn't happen as often as they should.
Task: To find a more cost-effective solution to enable more regular inspections.
Solution: Using drones to fly over depots, tracks and rolling stock. This has allowed us to reduce the time taken to identify and fix maintenance issues, which has also increased safety.

Access permissioning app

Problem: Providing access to track workers, ensuring safe and timely maintenance work.
Task: Eliminating accidents and finding a way to make the access process more efficient.
Solution: A mobile app for on-site maintenance teams to ensure the best use of engineering time.

Remote track circuit monitoring system in use

Victoria line remote track circuit monitoring system

Signal failure was one of the biggest causes of lost customer hours on the busy Victoria line, but thanks to a team of engineers, that's no longer the case. Nearly two years after its introduction, the remote track circuit monitoring system exemplifies our innovation at its best.

Problem: An inability to predict signal failures until they happened.
Task: We needed to find a way of monitoring every single circuit in real-time.
Solution: The software was designed (in-house) to find the faulty point instantly if the line went down. It also monitored a signal's degeneration in order to predict future breakages. This meant we were able to schedule repairs in advance, reducing failures by 54% in its first roll out.

Read more about our remote track circuit monitoring system


Accelerate: integrating passenger intelligence in smart rail systems

The project: Exploring how technology solutions can use passenger mobile devices to report potential problems on the London Underground network. We aim to use actively- and passively-collected location and sensor data to enable a stronger two-way relationship with customers.

Partners: ustwo, Transport API

Lightweight Tube door in construction

The lightweight door

The project: We used aerospace composite materials to create a door which was durable, compliant with our standards and retained its structural integrity without compromising functionality. It has the additional benefit of reduced mass, which increases capacity while lowering energy usage.

Partners: London Underground, Atkins Aerospace, National Composite Centre, University College London, Wabtec.

Read more about the lightweight door


The project: Procurement of Lighting Innovation and Technology in Europe (PRO-LITE) shows how public sector organisations can consolidate their procurement power to create economies of scale, and so support SMEs.

Through its application in the lighting industry, PRO-LITE is also demonstrating how to procure innovative technologies, and drive European economies.

Partners: Transport for London (UK), Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (Germany), Municipality of Torino (Italy), Consip (Italy), EVE (Spain), PIANOo (The Netherlands)

Find out more at the PRO-LITE website

Wayfindr beacon for the visually impaired


The project: We gave visually impaired users a system for navigating through Pimlico station independently using Bluetooth technology and audio queues. In a second phase, we extended the system to help users transferring from the Underground to buses.

Partners: Royal London Society for Blind People, ustwo

Read more about the Wayfindr project