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London Underground (LU) has invited Thales to bid for the contract to equip a new signalling system on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

An OJEU had been issued by LU at the beginning of this year seeking expressions of interest from the industry for the implementation of a signalling system on the sub-surface railway.

The contract will cover the replacement and advancement of the signalling system on the lines, which comprise 40% of the Underground network daily.

It is anticipated that the new system will allow additional trains to run more frequently and reliably.

London Underground managing director and MVO Mike Brown said: "The modernisation work will mean more frequent, more reliable and less crowded journeys for our customers and will help us meet rapidly growing customer demand.

"At the same time, it is vital that modernisation is delivered cost effectively for our passengers and taxpayers. We will only enter in to a contract if I am absolutely certain that Londoners are getting value for money and if I have absolute confidence in the delivery schedule."

The S-Stock trains that are currently running on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines will now become operational on the District line.

This will increase capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65%, the District line by 24% and the Metropolitan line by 27%.

Improvements on the line will be delivered in 2018.

Image: A London Underground S-Stock unit travels north along the Metropolitan Line between Finchley Road and Kilburn. Photo: courtesy of mattbuck.