French infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau has awarded a €129.3m contract to Hitachi Rail STS to modernise its LGV + Paris-Lyon project.

The project covers 634km of rail lines, including 550km of high-speed rail and 80km of rail connections.

Around 240 trains run the Paris-Lyon high-speed line every day, making it one of the busiest high-speed lines in Europe.

With this modernisation programme, SNCF will be able to offer an additional one to three trains during peak hours. This will also improve reliability and traffic flow.

Hitachi Rail STS will be responsible for designing, constructing and integrating its Computer-Based Interlocking technology (CBI) with France’s specific automatic train protection (ATP) system.

This will replace the existing 58 sets that have been operating on the network since the 1980s.

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The upgrade will make equipment compatible with ERTMS standards interface. The high-speed lines connecting Paris to Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Rennes will use the upgraded equipment.

The contract also includes a €16.6m option to provide additional activities such as testing and commissioning.

Hitachi Rail EMEA president Christian Andi said: “This contract reaffirms the solid and long-standing partnership between our business in France and SNCF. Hitachi Rail STS is committed to continuing its support of France’s transportation growth into the future.”

Hitachi Rail STS France President Gilles Pascault said: “We are honoured to have been selected by SNCF to provide a key component for this much-needed modernisation programme of LGV + Paris-Lyon.

“Upon completion, our Hitachi Rail STS interlocking technology will dramatically improve performance on one of France’s historical High-Speed Rail Lines. Together with SNCF, we will provide even in rush hour, accommodation for more passengers than ever before.”