Another London Underground line hit with train shortages as customers to face delays

Commuters getting on a Northern Line train
-Credit: (Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


A shortage of trains has hit another London Underground line, with Transport for London (TfL) apologising to customers affected by 'severe delays'. The Northern line is experiencing issues due to a component problem.

A customer told the authority: "The past few weeks members of my family have been severely delayed to and from work due, with huge gaps between trains, and trains turning short of their original destination. The reason given is always 'a shortage of trains', with no further explanation ever being given.

"Online information does not specify either. It does mention online where the Central line is concerned a shortage of trains caused by lack of parts, for the Central line stock."

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An employee works in an inspection pit beneath a London Underground Northern Line train
Faults have occurred on some of the line's stock -Credit:Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A TfL freedom of information case officer responded on June 5: "We are sorry that our customers have recently been experiencing delays due the shortage of trains on the Northern line. This is due to an issue with a component in the train’s traction power system that has developed in some of our trains and our train maintainer has had difficulty in sourcing sufficient replacements.

'Temporary engineering solution' needed

They added: "Our engineering teams have been working with our maintenance contractor to find a temporary engineering solution while we work with our suppliers to source the parts we need to fix the problem in the longer term. The issues identified are in the current collector shoe support components.

"The shoes are the metal components that are in contact with the power rails, delivering the electricity needed to power the train."

It comes after disruption on the Jubilee and Central lines. Last year, improvements to trains on the former led to services being cut.

At the beginning of this year, an emergency timetable had to be introduced due to mechinical faults on Central line trains. A £500 million project to update the trains - first introduced on the network in 1992 - is underway.

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