27 April 2006 | Anusha Bradley
Tube Lines, which maintains and upgrades London Underground's Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines, has begun to use radio frequency identification (RFID) to monitor the performance of its cleaning suppliers.
The eight-week trial has been extended until the end of May because of its success.
RFID tags have been attached to 127 train carriages and tag readers placed at each end of the cleaning bay. The readers record the time it takes for each train to enter and leave.
Martyn Capes, Tube Lines technical asset manager, told SM
: "This means we can check the work is being done properly."
Tube Lines would not confirm reports that it introduced the trial due to concerns about its suppliers' cleaning performance.
"Part of our PPP payment is based on how clean our trains and stations are so it is in our interest to make sure they are of the highest standard," he said.
Pending approval from London Underground, Tube Lines hopes use the technology to monitor other suppliers, inventory stocks and to record track maintenance work.