The final phase in the preparation of the London Underground PPP reached its conclusion on 7 April 2003 with Metronet‘s financial close and the announcement of US$multi-billion plans to upgrade and revitalise its two-thirds share of the system.

Metronet has taken over responsibility for upgrading, replacing and maintaining the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo & City Lines (Metronet Rail BCV Ltd) and the Metropolitan, District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and East London lines (Metronet Rail SSL Ltd).

Chairman John Weight told a launch conference: “Metronet is a company with innovative plans, sound ideas, strong safety credentials and a willingness and determination to help improve the travelling experience of the people who use the London Underground every day. We have the expertise, the finance, the enthusiasm, the will and the knowledge”.

The Metronet consortium, which was formed in the summer of 1999, is made up of Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier Transportation, SEEBOARD and Thames Water.

Altogether Metronet will spend US$26.5bn during the 30-year contract, US$10.9bnin the first seven-and-a-half-years – US$3.9M a day – on new trains, new track, new signalling and refurbished and modernised stations. As part of the award of the two concessions Metronet has granted Bombardier Transportation the contract for supplying the new trains and signalling – using Westinghouse Rail Systems as sub-contractors – and Balfour Beatty the majority of the track work.

Trans4m, a joint venture company made up of Atkins, Balfour Beatty, SEEBOARD and Thames Water, has been awarded the contract for the civil engineering work and the refurbishment and modernisation of the stations.

Metronet has pledged to: improve substantially the performance of the Underground’s engineering systems; provide value for money to London Underground and its passengers; work with London Underground to minimise disruption to the existing network during implementation; and ensure high technical standards in all it does in order to provide a safe and efficient service for the travelling public.