London Underground Ltd (LUL)






As some of you may know, a few years ago I worked on a major contract for the London Underground.

Called the ‘Connect Project’, it was a total revamp and upgrade of the Telecommunication, IT and CCTV infrastructure. This system is brilliant and light years ahead in technology. It allows for two-way radios to work from the surface to hundreds of feet below ground, allows CCTV to work in real-time even on the trains and the whole network is tied into the ‘Oyster Card’ system and provision was made to allow mobile phone usage.

Ever since the Kings Cross fire disaster, the entire underground network has had a 3 tier fire protection system installed including ‘Hi-Fog’ systems to all public areas.  After the Kings Cross fire a systematic replacement of the thousands of wooden escalators came into effect. This has been a major and costly undertaking due to the fact that new escalators had to be bespoke and built in situ at costs inexcess of £1m each. Each escalator has an optical fibre fire detection system inside and internal fire supression systems. The last of these was finally replaced in 2007.

This whole thing has cost billions of pounds and the final stage is to completely renovate the actual tube stations. The station refurbishment work has now started.

I spent many nights walking the tunnels and stations with ‘Bank/Monument’ being my actual designated stations – the Bank complex (also called the ‘Worm’) is the largest subterranean railway structure (not station) in the world with miles of interconnecting tunnels and apparently the odd ghost left over from WW2, especially the Blitz.


This map does not show the miriad of service tunnels and other facilities sadly.

However, LUL is a dinosaur of a company and is slowly getting up to speed with the changes moving through it.

As you know, I don’t allow swearing on this blog, but in the interest of the national love of the ‘London Underground Song’ I have posted the video of it here. (this will offend if you don’t like swearing).






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One Comment

  1. My dad was doing fibre optics for military communication before computers were invented. If he saw what we can do with computers today he would have cried.


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