France’s Thales tapped to im­prove Lon­don Tube in US$1.09 bil­lion deal

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

French trans­port sys­tems gi­ant Thales on Mon­day an­nounced a 1-bil­lion-euro (US$1.09 bil­lion) deal to up­grade four lines of the Lon­don Un­der­ground.

“This next ma­jor phase of the Un­der­ground’s mod­ern­iza­tion will bring faster, more fre­quent and more re­li­able jour­neys to mil­lions of pas­sen­gers who use the Cir­cle, Dis­trict, Metropoli­tan and Ham­mer­smith & City lines,” Thales and Trans­port for Lon­don said in a joint state­ment.

The lines cross­ing cen­tral Lon­don are the old­est in the sys­tem be­gun in 1863 which to­day car­ries around 1.3 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a day.

Work will be­gin this year and is set for com­ple­tion in 2023, it said.

“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,” the state­ment said.

The con­tract will cre­ate or pre­serve up to 1,100 jobs and 60 ap­pren­tice­ships in Lon­don and else­where in Bri­tain, it said.

“These im­prove­ments will boost ca­pac­ity by an av­er­age of a third on the four lines and is vi­tal in or­der to sup­port Lon­don’s grow­ing pop­ula- tion, which is ex­pected to in­crease from 8.6 mil­lion to­day to 10 mil­lion by 2030,” the state­ment said.

Once these four lines are up­graded, Lon­don Un­der­ground will turn to the Pic­cadilly, Cen­tral, Bak­er­loo and Waterloo & City lines, where it will lay new tracks and in­stall new sig­nal­ing sys­tems.

Thales’ trans­port oper­a­tions shot up 88 per­cent in the first half of the year with or­ders to­tal­ing 1.197 bil­lion eu­ros, com­pared with 637 mil­lion eu­ros in the same pe­riod of 2014.

The group’s over­all or­der book to­taled 6.224 bil­lion eu­ros, up 19 per­cent for the pe­riod.

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