TfL Central line: 65 days of Tube delays as service plagued by motor faults

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Figures from TfL reveal the extent of the delays being experienced on the London Underground's Central line.

Before November, a "shortage of trains" was cited just four times as the reason for delays on the Central line. Since the start of November, the issue has caused disruption on at least 65 occasions.

LondonWorld reported last month that Transport for London (TfL) had apologised for the disruption caused by "an abnormally high number of defective traction motors" requiring work during an overhaul of the trains on the line.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Freedom of Information request by LondonWorld revealed that between November 2 and January 10 the issue caused delays on 45 occasions, and the service has been disrupted on every weekday since then.

In his report for the TfL board, dated February 2024, commissioner Andy Lord repeated the apology, writing: "We are experiencing an abnormally high number of motor failures that has required us to take a high number of trains out of service. Our engineers are urgently working to repair and overhaul the damaged motors, but this is a complex process undertaken by highly skilled, specialist technicians and the removal and refitting of every motor requires the 30-year-old train to be split into separate sections and the affected cars lifted.

"Alongside the repair work, we have put in place additional arrangements to increase our supply of spare motors; this will enable us to start to rebuild some resilience and improve services over the coming weeks, reducing the number of trains out of service and meaning we can return trains to service more quickly.

"While this should help improve services for customers, the motor failures are still occurring at a higher rate than we have seen before so some disruption to normal service levels is likely to continue. We are continuing to work urgently to identify further solutions."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

City Hall Conservatives transport spokesman Keith Prince said: “The Central line is slowly grinding to a halt causing misery for thousands of passengers every day since Christmas. Sadiq Khan is chairman of TfL. The buck stops with him.

"Sadiq Khan has been focused on election gimmicks when he should be focused on the needs of Tube passengers.

“In recent weeks, Sadiq Khan has found £177m for desperate pre-election giveaways - £30m to stave off Tube strikes, £123m to freeze some TfL fares for one year and £24m to pause peak fares on Fridays for three months. This money could be spent speeding up the refurbishment of Central Line trains.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.