Metronet secures second Tube deal

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The Metronet consortium led by Balfour Beatty was yesterday selected to take over London Underground's sub-surface lines as part of the Government's public-private partnership for the Tube.

The 30-year contract will see Metronet invest £5bn in the District, Circle, Hammersmith and City, and East London lines and means the consortium is now responsible for two-thirds of the Underground network.

Metronet, whose other shareholders are Seeboard, Thames Water, WS Atkins and Bombardier Transportation, has already been chosen as the preferred contractor for the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria deep tube lines.

The contest over the sub-surface lines came down to a two-horse race between Metronet and the Tubelines consortium, the preferred bidder for the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, after ministers decided it would be better to have just two private contractors involved in the PPP.

Metronet's success means that the Linc consortium, consisting of John Mowlem, Fluor Daniel, Alcatel and Anglian Water, and TubeRail, which is made up of Amec, Brown & Root, Alstom and Carillon, have been left empty-handed.

The sub-surface lines comprise 96 stations, 366 kilometres of track, 53 escalators, 178 trains, and 2,223 staff. The Government originally selected Railtrack as the preferred bidder but changed its mind after the Hatfield disaster last October.

Total investment in the London Underground under the PPP is set to reach £13bn over 30 years. About £4bn is being invested in each of the other two sets of deep tube lines.