Update from TfL on tube noise July 2020

Please see below an update on the Delkor trials from TfL:

I am writing, further to MQ 2019/20525, to update you on Tube noise on the Victoria line, between Pimlico to Victoria, and between Highbury & Islington to King’s Cross St. Pancras.


As you know, we were investigating the feasibility of installing Delkor 194 baseplates on the Victoria line, including this section of the track, as a potential long-term solution to Tube Noise. Unfortunately, following a detailed review of this product, we have now concluded that Delkor 194 for timber sleepers is not suitable for use on the Victoria line, at either of these locations.


Our engineering team has now carried out multiple site inspections to understand the layout and characteristics of the Victoria line, and their assessments have found that Delkor 194 is not suitable due to the spacing of the sleepers.


As the sleepers on the Victoria line are spaced around 1 metre apart, adding Delkor 194 would lead to flex in the rail. This is a safety issue as it potentially increases the risk of a rail failure. Flex in the rail can also cause corrugation. As corrugation is the root cause of residential Tube noise in both of these locations, we do not believe that installing Delkor 194 would be effective.


We have also considered whether Deep Tube Reconditioning (DTR) could be carried out in these areas. This involves removing the sleepers, and then installing a continuous concrete base (which a Delkor rail fastening then sits upon). When this work is carried out it is only possible to replace around 1-3 metres of track per night (dependent on access to the track, while other key maintenance works are carried out). Each metre  of DTR costs approximately £7,000-8,500.

Coronavirus has had a severe impact on our finances and there is currently no funding available in the short term for this DTR work. In May, we reached agreement with the government on a funding package to allow us to run public transport safely in London until 17 October 2020. Over the next few months we will be working with the government to agree a longer term sustainable funding for transport in the Capital, but it is clear that our city is facing challenging economic circumstances.