French firm to fit new signals on four London Underground lines as part of £5.4bn TfL programme

London Underground tube station

French transport system provider Thales has won a £760m contract to upgrade signalling and train control systems on the London Underground.

The firm will fit new signals on the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines, which Transport for London (TfL) says will boost capacity by a third on each on the four lines and is “vital in order to support London’s growing population”, which is expected to rise from 8.6m today to over 10m by 2030.

Work is expected to start later this year, with the project set to be fully operational by 2022. Up to 1,100 jobs and 60 apprenticeships are expected to be created as a result of the works.

The deal is part of TfL’s overall £5.4bn budget to modernise the four underground lines, which will also include new tracks, lengthened platforms and rebuilt train depots with advanced technology to improve train reliability.

The improvements on the four lines will be delivered within the existing TfL business plan, and the programme is expected to have a benefit-cost ratio of around 4.7 to 1.

Nick Brown, managing director of London Underground, said: “Having successfully modernised three of the most heavily used lines on our network, we are ready to begin work to bring the next four lines into the modern era.”

He added: “We have a very clear delivery plan and timetable for the work and, as we have done with the modernisation of the Northern line, we will keep London moving and growing as we do it.”