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Digital Revolution of London Underground receives prominent backing from Labour at City Hall

11 October 2019

Today, Florence Eshalomi AM, Labour’s transport spokesperson at City Hall and Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, visited Thales’ digital demonstration facility in London as part of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) 2019 Rail Fellowship Programme.

Photo: Florence Eshalomi AM is shown a demonstration on Thales’ digital traffic management model.

Eshalomi spent the afternoon at Thales’ site in East London where she saw the role Thales is playing in delivering more underground services with shorter journey times for Londoners. 
In particular she learnt about Thales’ Connect, a digital radio and transmission system used on the London Underground as part of a 7-year renewed contract with TfL, and Four Lines Modernisation (4LM), a project to upgrade the signalling systems of four of London Underground’s most important railway lines: The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.
In Thales London’s digital demonstration suite, the Transport Committee Chair was shown the multitude of digital initiatives being undertaken including multi-modal transport systems, London Underground traffic management, TIRIS predictive maintenance, and real time data management.
This is the latest coup for RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which over the last two years has hosted a huge number of influential politicians in the rail industry, including the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP, former Transport Secretary Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP, Transport Select Committee Chair Lilian Greenwood MP, and Home Secretary Priti Patel MP.
The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme showcases the work of the UK rail supply chain by encouraging parliamentarians and influencers to gain hands-on experience in the industry and has been extremely successful, with politicians continuing to pledge interest in taking part.

Florence Eshalomi AM said: "As Labour spokesperson for transport at City Hall, I am always eager to see the work that goes into helping London’s rail and underground network grow. Thales, working with TFL, are doing vital work transforming the way our Underground services operate, and making the London Underground fit for the future.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association said:
“It was a delight to have Florence Eshalomi take part in RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme. Having the Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee visit one of the biggest digital rail suppliers in the Capital was fantastic - Florence is an important addition to the ever-growing RIA Rail Fellowship.”
Shaun Jones, Vice President of Thales UK Transport business said:
“We are proud to have been able to host Florence Eshalomi and to show her the important work Thales are delivering to create a more efficient, reliable London Underground. Programmes like 4LM and Connect, that take advantage of the latest digital signalling and communications technologies, are transforming journeys for Londoners. It was great to show Florence the positive benefits that the investment in digital brings to her constituents everyday”.
RIA is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. RIA has more than 270 member companies and works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe, and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.
The rail sector is of crucial importance to the UK economy, contributing £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. 

Notes to Editors 

  1. For all media enquiries please contact: [email protected] or telephone: 020 3826 6211.
  2. About the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme: The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is an exciting opportunity for UK parliamentarians and commentators to gain an insight into the valuable work of the UK rail supply chain at a RIA Member location. “Fellows” spend a day ‘on location’ with a RIA Member whose work is relevant to their role or constituency and experience opportunities reflecting the great diversity of technical disciplines within the rail sector. Candidates are gaining an invaluable understanding of a diverse workforce that together contribute £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people. Alison McGovern is the second MP to complete her site visit for the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, following Luke Pollard’s visit on 1 August. An additional 8 MPs are set to complete visits in the next few months. The RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2018 will be awarded at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception on Tuesday 27th November 2018. Find out more here.
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