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Today the next stage of the sub surface upgrade programme began. This was the District & Circle Lines combined section from Tower Hill to Sloane Square. Apparently things were going so well they decided to implement a soft introduction of services (with a view to full implementation of the normal timetable from Monday 26th April. This is quite unprecedented because so far its invariably been a Sunday afternoon when any sort of public services began. Its the first time they’ve publicly introduced CBTC on a Saturday!

Trains began at 13.15 pm today and although there is a full service running in fact (I think its a slightly slimmed down Saturday service) however unlike the previous stage of the CBTC (no support staff were provided for the roll out of that section – this is as far as I could see – there were no staff contrary to what some have said.) This one (as I observed) did have staff on hand at Sloane Square for eastbound trains in case their drivers struggled to get their trains into CBTC mode. Thus it was somewhat unusual that it was a day’s early roll out – but because they did that its probably why back up support staff were provided as extra insurance. The interesting thing about this was no staff were provided for the first part of the District Line CBTC between Stepney Green and Monument, yet for this second iteration support staff were provided at Sloane Square. Indeed it seems they were not too sure about rolling it out live on a Saturday! (BTW this is just an observation, not a fact I have specified as some think…)

A lot of the signals on this section are quite well hidden (they’re beyond the easily viewable passenger areas of the platforms) and yes previously these signals could be seen in the darkness beyond the platforms but now these had been covered in black plastic wrap, it was hard to even see any of these (with some exceptions) thus it was only when a S7 shone these up in its headlights that I could take photographs of these. Like all other CBTC introductions, the opening of the doors seemed to take a little while to achieve. However unlike the other stages in the scheme, this particular one the trains seemed to be quite spot on, there was no hesitation in drawing up along the platforms or anything of the sort.

I begin with Tower Hill as that wasn’t covered in my earlier post covering the CBTC for 7th March 2021.

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The end of the bay platform at Tower Hill. Its been said on forums the new points east of here had been disconnected but its clear they havent. The writing on the wrapped sign behind all these others says ‘Do not unbag – contact base…’

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The eastbound signals have been bagged of course since 7th March 2021. The rail gap indicator is like others, the traditional style of indicator – like that at Liverpool Street it has been retained contrary to expectations a new type of indicator would be provided.

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The westbound starter signal for the bay is clearly seen bagged at the bottom of this picture. The ‘H’ sign is of course CBTC.

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The westbound main at Tower Hill has been bagged too since March 7th 2021.

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Monument’s westbound repeater got bagged today (24th April 2021.)

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Monument’s eastbound repeater also got bagged today! (Saturday 24 April.)

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Canon Street’s westbound between the tracks bagged. (Viewed from eastbound platform.) Note also the train stop, now permanently deflated….

(If you dont know what I mean by this, the train stops are air operated. They’re not now!)

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Embankment eastbound (also station starter seen just inside the tunnel mouth.) Note the train stop too which is now permanently deflated (Or as I say the air pressure has been ceased on these – and that is why its down.)

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Embankment’s westbound repeater (and reversal for the crossover) get the wraps. No more colour light signals!

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St. James’s Park westbound repeater is bagged and has an ‘X’ put on it like all the others.

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St. James’s Park westbound station starter is some way down the unused part of the platform. Same modus – bagged and crossed for prosperity’s sake!

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Victoria too! CBTC introduced here means the station’s tube lines are now fully automated. Only a handful of other core tube stations with intersecting tube lines have this status such as Euston, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Monument (the DLR is automated too and its part of the Monument/Bank interchange), London Bridge, Tottenham Court Road etc.

(As for some criticism, I would like to point out that I do know the other tube lines, the Victoria, for example isnt CBTC of course. But what I mean is these lines at these points are all automated regardless of the system they use, not that they are all CBTC – because they aren’t.

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Victoria’s station starter beyond the platform itself. Bagged the same as everywhere else! I’m sure some passengers will wonder what these many crossed signs actually mean. They didnt do it on the Northern Line for example, but now its a done thing. It looks tidy but also gives these bagged specimens a somewhat mysterious aspect (pardon the pun!)

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Sloane Square’s starter is now the first proper signal westbound and traditional tube train driving begins here. The signal is seen here at green. There’s a repeater at the end of the platform – this can be seen in the main image at the top of this page.

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One of the LUL staff on standby at Sloane Square eastbound platform in case anything goes wrong with the CBTC’s introduction or a train refuses to engage CBTC or whatever.

Update 2.00am 25th April 2021 – some tweets that show unbagged signals (inc Embankment I showed as bagged.)


Note: I had planned to do a quick post and introduction to the new section like I had in the past. This one caught me unawares so I went out mid pm to cover it and had hoped to finish a post by the evening – had only just begun when a TfL worker choose to challenge me and did not even heed the fact I was disabled he didn’t even take his mask off though and kept challenging me and there was just no way I could reply to him. I even have a letter from TfL that I carry around. I had to go out again later and try and start it again which means this post will be late. Therefore I’ve just decided to keep it to a minimum text wise because that takes me many hours to do. It was in fact a record hour and three quarters for me to do it – preparing pics, doing the text then publishing. Usually it takes me hours, days to do a post.

The said TfL worker will probably feature in a video compilation of rail staff that have tried to discriminate against me! Unless of course people start to respect me for my disability and then that wont happen. TfL says it has awareness training but clearly it doesn’t work and I have made approaches to TfL on these matters but clearly its not improving. I mean I want to be able to do interesting stuff not be discriminated against just because I cant communicate with others. It is very depressing to have to encounter this shit on a continual basis.

**I also note that a couple of people have tried to castigate me (by way of comments) for doing this post by saying a lot of things were wrong. I’ve made so very little reference to actual facts because I did this post very quickly, not because I wanted to do a record or anything but you wouldn’t understand anyway. (It was that I was trying to make up for having been discriminated against…) As for the train stops I used the word ‘deflated’ because these are after all air operated. It was meant to be some light humour but in view of my disability I suppose you thought it was some naff and very bad research I had done, so thank you for that huge positivity! And please, if you do not understand me or my disability or the fact English isn’t my first language, or that many people have huge communication problems with me and these sort of actions against me are tantamount to very bad oppression, then please just go away! I mean you wouldn’t want people attacking you all the time because of communication problems and not wanting to understand you or what you are trying to say or explain would you?

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Phil

A poorly written account several mistakes although the photos are good so well done there. Please if you are going to write something reseach is a must.

Phil

I was not aware that English was not your first language but there are people who do blogs just like that and they produce a first class blog. As they say a photo is worth a thousand words but you let that slip the net. As I said research is the key there are plenty of sites and a lot with more detailed descriptions of the new systems so you would be able to give more had you wished to. If you have problems with staff you can always report those persons.
You mention that me and others don’t understand well educate us then and I’m sure you will get on much better other than having someone pick your blog and just exchanging words we are all equal no matter what some think.

Adrian

Interesting post and intriguing detail shots. I liked the use of the word “deflated” – it conjures up a slightly lonely train stop that’s reached retirement. I used to live near one of the Underground’s terminuses and loved hearing the points changing with that rush of air. I’m sorry to hear that member of staff was rubbish.