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TfL begins new signalling system on LU; signs rolling stock leasing deal for Elizabeth Line [free access]

March 25, 2019

Transport for London (TfL) has commissioned a new signalling system, supplied by Thales, on the first section of London Underground’s (LU) Hammersmith & City Line, between Hammersmith and Latimer Road. The modernisation is a part of TfL’s Four Lines Modernisation (4LM) for London Underground’s (LU) sub-surface lines – District, Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City.

 

In 2015, Thales secured a GBP760 million contract to modernise the signalling system of the four tube lines. When the project is completed, the service frequency will increase from 28 to 32 per hour in Central London. The increase in service frequency will be introduced from 2021 and will be completed by 2023, increasing the carrying capacity of the four lines by one-third (36,500 additional passengers during peak times).

 

In addition, TfL has completed a ‘sale and leaseback’ deal with the 345 Rail Leasing consortium for new rolling stock for the Elizabeth Line. The consortium comprises Equitix Investment Management, NatWest, and SMBC Leasing. The duration of the contract will be 20 years. Bombardier is supplying the Class 345 electric multiple units (EMUs) for the Elizabeth Line.

 

The contract includes an option for TfL to purchase the fleet back at the end of the initial lease term. MTR Crossrail will be responsible for the maintenance of the trains. The deal will release around GBP1 billion worth of capital for the transit authority, which will be used to fund the procurement of new trains from Siemens for London Underground’s Piccadilly Line.

 

The rolling stock leasing options were not suitable for the procurement of London Underground’s rolling stock due to their unique nature.

 

(1 GBP [British Pound] = 1.32 USD)