Two consortiums have been chosen as preferred bidders by London Underground (LU) on its $12.6bn Public Private Partnership designed to upgrade the system.

Firstly, Metronet, a consortium of Adtranz, Seeboard Group plc, Balfour Beatty plc, Thames Water plc and WS Atkins plc, has been chosen to run the Infraco BCV consisting of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines. The system includes some 112km of bored tunnel. Metronet has said it intends to halve the LU maintenance backlog in the first seven-and-a-half years of the 30 year contract. Once financial close has been accomplished, Metronet plans to maintain and improve safety, implement major track renewal, provide new and refurbished rolling stock, invest in modern reliable signalling, install modern train control systems and carry out station modernisation. Consortium chief executive, Rod Hoare said, "After decades of under-investment there is much to be done, but it is not something that can be achieved overnight. We will want to start the major projects as quickly as we can, at the same time reducing the maintenance backlog, to improve reliability and consistency."

Tube Lines, a consortium backed by three equal shareholders: Jarvis plc, Amey plc and Bechtel, has been chosen as preferred bidder on the contract to regenerate the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines. The 30 year PPP contract involves the maintenance, renewals and upgrade of the infrastructure, including track, trains, signals and stations. The system includes some 180km of bored tunnel. Over the first seven years Tube Lines plans to spend $2.8bn on the three lines.