Thales has been awarded a £760 million contract by Transport for London (TfL) to modernise the signalling and train control system on four London Underground (LU) lines. The aim is to enable faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys on the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.
The improvements will boost capacity by an average of a third on the four lines. Work is expected to begin later this year and the main benefits will be delivered by 2022, when the frequency of trains running during peak periods will increase to 32 trains per hour in central
London – a train every two minutes - with frequency increases at other times as well.
Further benefits will include a train control system which will increase capacity further starting with the Circle line in 2021, with additional frequent services at peak times. During 2023 the final improvements will be delivered, with a further boost to peak and off-peak frequency on the Metropolitan line.
The overall budget for the four line modernisation programme is £5.41 billion, which represents a reduction of £131 million compared with an earlier estimate announced in March. This budget includes investment in 191 new modern air-conditioned walk through trains, built in the UK, and already introduced on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City and District lines.
Once the four lines have been completed, LU will then move on to introducing new trains and control systems for the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo, and Waterloo & City lines. The latest contract follows upgrades to the Victoria, Jubilee and Northern lines.