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London Tube Trains to Run Overnight on Weekends Starting in 2015

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London Underground Tube Train
Passengers stand aboard a London Underground Tube train before departing from Brixton station in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- London’s Tube will introduce 24-hour running on its busiest lines from 2015 as part of an upgrade of the 150-year-old subway that will include additional daytime frequencies and improved Wi-Fi connectivity.

The “Night Tube” services will operate on Fridays and Saturdays on the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines and on parts of the Northern line, the subway’s busiest route, Transport for London said today in a statement.

Opening hours on the London Underground’s other lines will be extended in following years as TfL grapples with the transport needs of a population forecast to grow to about 10 million by 2030 from 8.4 million today. Higher frequencies will boost Northern Line capacity by 20 percent from next year, with more trains also set to run on the Jubilee and Victoria lines.

“It is time to take the Tube to the next level,” London Mayor Boris Johnson said in the statement. “This will not just boost jobs and our vibrant night-time economy, it will further cement London’s reputation as the best big city on the planet.”

TfL, which reports to Johnson, said more employees will be based on concourses and platforms rather than ticket booths, without revealing whether over-the-counter sales outlets will close. Today’s statement said that all stations will be manned while trains are running, though they’ll be reclassified as Gateway, Destination, Metro or Local to reflect staffing needs.

The subway system will begin accepting contactless bank-card payments starting next year, and Wi-Fi services will be extended to almost all station. Some 27 stops will be made step-free, adding to the current 66 staircase-free facilities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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