Works to replace four escalators at London Underground's (LU's) Embankment station will commence at the start of next year for approximately 10 months. Owing to the nature of the works Bakerloo and Northern line services will not be stopping at the station until works are complete.
The escalators were installed more than 80 years ago and last refurbished in the 1970s; they are now in need of replacing to ensure the safe operation of the station for many years to come. However, as the escalators are located in single shafts, and in many cases with no adjacent staircases, it is not possible for Bakerloo and Northern line services to stop at the station while these works are carried out. Customers wanting to use either line are advised to use Waterloo or Charing Cross stations which are a short walk from Embankment.
The work, which will commence on Wednesday 8 January, will involve replacing four escalators at once to enable this to be done significantly faster. So instead of taking at least 75 weeks if the work was phased, it will now take around 43 weeks.
Escalators on the Tube are longer and more heavy duty than most others, they carry huge volumes of people and run for approximately 20 hours a day. The replacement includes the removal of all components from the machines (some of them weighing up to one tonne) from the cramped space beneath the escalators and the removal and replacement of all associated structural, mechanical and electrical parts.
Nigel Holness, Operations Director, LU, said: 'We have explored various options to carry out these works and keep the station open. However due to the layout of the station it is not possible to carry out these works while Northern and Bakerloo line services are stopping at the station.
'We have taken the decision to have trains on both lines non stopping so that we can carry out the works in one big hit which is the most efficient and least disruptive option. Passengers will still be able to use Circle and District line services.
'Customers wanting to travel to and from the Northern and Bakerloo lines are advised to use either Waterloo or Charing Cross which is a couple of minutes walk from the station. We apologise for the disruption to journeys this will cause but the works are vital for the continued safe operation of the station.'
Ancillary services, including fire safety systems, ventilation, lighting and water cooling will be overhauled as part of this work which is due to be completed by early November 2014. We will also use the opportunity to carry out other station works which will include safety and security improvements including replacing station Help Points and CCTV systems, as well as improvements to the ambience and decor.
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