"The safety of Londoners is my top priority and I want everyone to feel safe, and be safe, when travelling around London at all times"
  • Overhauled trains will include better accessibility and customer information, as well as CCTV cameras on Central line trains for the first time 
  • Inclusion of CCTV on trains will bolster security for Londoners as improved trains are returned to the network 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, saw the first Central line train to be overhauled as part of the £500m Central Line Improvement Programme (CLIP) today (Friday 15 December). 

Following significant testing over the summer period, the first newly refurbished train is based at Hainault depot as it finishes live testing on the railway. The newly refurbished trains feature more reliable motors, better accessibility, improved customer information and a new moquette. Each carriage is also fitted with CCTV cameras, the first time CCTV has been installed on trains on the Central line. The Central line, which operates throughout the night at the weekend, is the longest Tube line and one of the busiest on the network with around 4.5m customer journeys completed each week. 

The introduction of CCTV on trains is a significant step in the continuing effort to ensure that Londoners feel, and are, as safe as possible when using the transport network. It will add to TfL's extensive CCTV network which includes all stations on the London Underground network, complementing the staff and enforcement activity already in place across the transport network. Staff are working on the Tube whenever services are running and, in addition to more than 2,500 police and police community support officers, TfL also has 500 enforcement officers who patrol the whole network. 

TfL invests more than £180m in the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police each year, funding dedicated policing on London's roads and TfL's transport networks to keep its customers and staff safe. Targeted enforcement takes place in busy, hotspot locations using plainclothes officers to tackle crime. TfL also continues to work closely with the police and the night-time industry as part of its commitment to get people, particularly women, home safely at night. This includes working relentlessly to bring offenders to justice, being a leading promoter of the Mayor's Women's Night Safety Charter and making any incidents easier to report. As the year draws to a close, TfL is also reminding Londoners of how to safely use taxis and minicabs. Enforcement activity is being stepped up by the police and TfL over the festive period to crack down on unbooked minicabs and other illegal activity by targeting priority locations across the capital. 

CLIP is the most significant overhaul project undertaken by TfL engineers in the history of the Tube and will transform journeys for millions of customers every week. The trains on the Central line are more than 30 years old and are among the least reliable on the Tube. The crucial and innovative work done on the CLIP project will install wheelchair bays to improve accessibility, screens in carriages to enhance customer information during travel and new refreshed seating including a new moquette. 

The project is a new and innovative step for TfL, which has never before undertaken work to install new motors and electrical systems on its trains. Completing the overhaul work will refresh the ageing fleet and ensure that the trains will continue to operate and extend their working life. This is essential because the vital Government funding needed to replace the trains, as well as deliver transformational signalling on the Piccadilly line and also replace the 50-year-old Bakerloo line train fleet, has not been secured. New Piccadilly line trains will be delivered in 2025 but funding for the signalling is crucial to realise the benefits of those new trains and maximise the capacity of the Tube network for its customers and for London. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "The safety of Londoners is my top priority and I want everyone to feel safe, and be safe, when travelling around London at all times. 

"These newly refurbished Central line trains will improve the experience of commuters and will now have CCTV, meaning customers can travel more comfortably and safely on the line, complementing the 77,000 CCTV cameras already in place across London's transport network and TfL's £180m investment in the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport police presence on its network every year. 

"These overhauled trains will improve safety, accessibility and reliability for Londoners - supporting my aim to continue building a safer, greener London for everyone." 

Andy Lord, London's Transport Commissioner, said: "We are committed to running the best, safest transport network we possibly can. Making journeys on one of the busiest lines on the Tube network more reliable, more accessible and safer is a critical step in achieving this commitment. While we would ideally like to replace the fleet entirely, the work to transform the existing trains on the Central line will mean that customers can expect a better experience and will mean capacity is improved. 

"Millions of people from the east and west of London, as well as from Essex, rely on the Central line to reach the centre of the city every day. It is crucial to driving London's economy in bringing people to areas like the West End, Oxford Street and Stratford. The work will install CCTV on trains, making our customers safer, and will also bring significant accessibility improvements. London is for everyone, and the innovative work by our hard-working engineers will mean more people can use this crucial line as safely as possible." 

Once testing of the first train has concluded, production will ramp up with the project returning one train to service per month once the work on it has been completed. Five trains will be taken out of service at a time to maximise production, with increasing numbers entering into passenger service over the next four years. 

The project involves stripping Central line trains down to the frames, with every other part either replaced or improved. The floors are removed, new poles installed and new driving systems put in place. The wiring within the trains is also totally revamped, with new power sources and control systems alongside the two CCTV cameras that will be in each carriage. New lighting, improved doors and new seats complete the work. 

TfL is working with more than 30 manufacturers from across the country to supply the parts for this programme. The trains will be worked on by a team of over 125 fitters based at Acton, with a number of apprentices also taking part over the lifetime of the project as part of TfL's commitment to train the next generation. 

There is an extensive network of more than 77,000 CCTV cameras operating across London's transport network including more than 17,000 cameras across the Tube network. The introduction of CCTV will complement TfL's existing work to ensure customers are safe on the network.  

Notes to editors

  • As a result of campaigns like Report It to Stop It, Project Guardian and the most recent campaigns against sexual harassment, the number of people reporting these horrific crimes, with the confidence that action will be taken, has increased. These offences have been underreported in previous years and TfL welcomes the fact that more people are coming forward to report them 
  • Messaging speaks directly to offenders, reminding them that TfL will not stand for such behaviour and reassuring anyone who experiences or witnesses it that TfL and its partners are committed to making travelling in London as safe as possible. This is an essential part of taking a full role in eliminating violence towards women and girls 
  • TfL is also helping fund free active bystander training sessions to empower people to take positive action to prevent or de-escalate incidents, support victims and report incidents, in a safe and effective way  
  • Other activity such as crime prevention messaging encouraging customers to keep their belongings safe and report any suspicious activity to police is broadcast across the TfL network