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Thales modernization of London’s Docklands Light Railway to improve journeys of 122 million passengers

  • Thales has signed two new contracts to support London’s Docklands Light Railway’s (DLR) fleet replacement programme, which will help deliver more frequent and reliable journeys in East London from 2023. 
  • The DLR covers 45 stations, 38 km of track, is entirely step free and carries approximately 122 million passengers per year.
  • The fleet replacement will increase the DLR’s rolling stock capacity by 20%.

Thales has signed two new contracts to support the Dockland’s Light Railway, as a result of a forecasted increased passenger demand on the network. The updates will improve the DLR’s exceptional operational performance, while maintaining the on time train reliability rate of 99% that it has historically delivered. Both contracts will run until September 2024.

The first contract will be for the supply and integration of on board control systems for a new fleet of 43 trains that Transport for London (TfL) announced earlier this year. This contract is direct with the rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A (CAF). The fleet replacement will increase the DLR’s rolling stock capacity by 20%.

The second, with TfL, will be for DLR signalling system upgrades to the software sub systems that will also support the new trains. These upgrades will help to deliver increased service capacity to East London passengers. More trains on the system will mean a higher level of service.

The DLR has been running on Thales’s SelTrac™ Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology since 1994 when it was successfully introduced on the Bank to Island Gardens section. Since that time, Thales has worked closely with Transport for London as the DLR has expanded to support growth in East London. 
The DLR has expanded considerably over the years to reach additional locations such as Stratford International, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal. The line now serves 45 stations, has tripled in length to cover 38 km of track and carries an annual total of 122 million passengers.

Thales is very pleased to be continuing its contribution to the growth of DLR and the impact this will have to increased service for East London transit users. Thales has been working with the DLR team for over 30 years by supporting the life cycle extension of assets and leveraging of their existing and new signalling systems.

Andrew Bell, VP Urban Rail Signalling, Thales in the UK

In addition to working with the DLR, Thales is currently also modernizing the London Underground. The 4LM project involves making signaling upgrades to the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines. The lines make up around 40% of the London Underground and the upgrades will increase the passenger capacity by an average of 33%.

About Thales
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).
Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.
About Thales in the UK
Thales in the UK is a team of over 6,500 experts, including 4,500 highly skilled engineers, located across 10 key sites. In 2018, Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.