LU Cooling the Tube

Project Details

Client LUL
Date 2007-2010
Skills Construction Consultant, Project Assurance
Value Est. £20m

Project Description:

Since the construction of the London Underground Network temperatures underground have risen as a result of railway operations.  In order to ensure that temperatures experienced by customers and staff do not exceed acceptable levels, LU established a programme to develop mitigation works that introduce cooling into the underground.

The programme reviewed all locations, including the potential impact of line upgrades, along with a menu of solutions to meet required temperature levels.  The programme also established the benefits of the possible solutions that could be used.

Optional solutions included:

  • Placing of portable industrial sized fan units at varying locations to improve airflow at the station.
  • Increased ventilation through new shafts and adits and by increased fan size in existing locations.
  • Provision of cooling through platform heat exchangers to groundwater and to rooftop coolers.
  • Operational changes and revised rolling stock design.
  • Localised cooling using a number of innovative solutions.

LBA Role:

LBA provided a range of services to London Underground during the pre-construction phases of the project between 2008 and 2010.  These included:

  • Construction Services
    • Identification of construction options at specific stations.
    • Review of constructability of suppliers proposals at RIBA C stage.
    • Construction sequencing planning.
  • Delivery Support
    • Programme planning.
    • Support in the development of risk management strategies.
    • Technical support to the programme Engineering Manager.
  • Assurance
    • Establishment of an assurance regime that met LU standards.
    • Preparation of programme assurance plans and templates for projects.
    • Training of project staff and approval of project plans.
    • Accreditation submissions.

Project Highlights

The project extended throughout the LU underground system and was required to show good value as well as providing a safe environment for passengers and staff. The programme team established priorities based on current temperature, proposed upgrade and solutions effectiveness.  This stage took a wide range of schemes through to RIBA C to facilitate prioritisation.  Possible solutions were also trialed and all the options were revised for compliance with LU standards and requirements.

A number of innovative solutions, including the use of adiabatic processes, regenerative braking and cooling storage were reviewed, designs and trials undertaken.  A platform air-handing unit prototype was also built and installed at Aldwich disused station.

Assurance of compliance with LU standards and liaison with the approving engineers was a key element of this stage of the works.  It was also important to ensure that the solutions were acceptable to the LU operations and LU maintenance of both fixed assets and rolling stock.

The programme team provided both requirements management as Client and Deliver. The principal role for LBA was in support of the Programme Engineering Manager in the Client area.