Docklands Light Railway
Overview
 
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro
Medium-capacity rail transport system
In rail transport, a medium-capacity system is a non-universal term coined to differentiate an intermediate system between light rail and heavy rail. The concept is similar to Light Metro, seen in European countries...

 or light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London. It covers several areas of London, reaching north to Stratford
Stratford, London
Stratford is a place in the London Borough of Newham, England. It is located east northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically an agrarian settlement in the ancient parish of West Ham, which transformed into an industrial suburb...

, south to Lewisham
Lewisham
Lewisham is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-History:...

, west to Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 and Bank in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 financial district, and east to Beckton
Beckton
Beckton is part of the London Borough of Newham, England, located east of Charing Cross.Its boundaries are the A13 trunk road to the north, Barking Creek to the east, the Royal Docks to the south, and Prince Regent Lane to the west. The area around Prince Regent Lane is also known as Custom House...

, London City Airport
London City Airport
London City Airport is a single-runway airport. It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a former Docklands site, east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in east London. It was developed by the engineering...

 and Woolwich Arsenal.

The DLR is operated under a concession awarded by Transport for London to Serco Docklands Ltd, part of the Serco Group
Serco Group
Serco Group plc is a government services company based in Hook, North Hampshire in the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

.
Encyclopedia
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro
Medium-capacity rail transport system
In rail transport, a medium-capacity system is a non-universal term coined to differentiate an intermediate system between light rail and heavy rail. The concept is similar to Light Metro, seen in European countries...

 or light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London. It covers several areas of London, reaching north to Stratford
Stratford, London
Stratford is a place in the London Borough of Newham, England. It is located east northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically an agrarian settlement in the ancient parish of West Ham, which transformed into an industrial suburb...

, south to Lewisham
Lewisham
Lewisham is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-History:...

, west to Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 and Bank in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 financial district, and east to Beckton
Beckton
Beckton is part of the London Borough of Newham, England, located east of Charing Cross.Its boundaries are the A13 trunk road to the north, Barking Creek to the east, the Royal Docks to the south, and Prince Regent Lane to the west. The area around Prince Regent Lane is also known as Custom House...

, London City Airport
London City Airport
London City Airport is a single-runway airport. It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a former Docklands site, east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in east London. It was developed by the engineering...

 and Woolwich Arsenal.

The DLR is operated under a concession awarded by Transport for London to Serco Docklands Ltd, part of the Serco Group
Serco Group
Serco Group plc is a government services company based in Hook, North Hampshire in the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

. The system is owned by DLR Limited, part of the London Rail
London Rail
London Rail is a directorate of Transport for London , involved in the relationship with the National Rail network within London, UK. It manages non-tube rail systems in London.-Operations:...

 division of Transport for London
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 (TfL). In 2006 the DLR carried over 60 million passengers. It has been extended several times and further extensions are being planned. Although it is similar to other public transport systems in London such as the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

, DLR trains are not compatible with the Underground network, Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 or the wider railway network in Britain.

Origins and development

The docks immediately east of London began to decline in the early 1960s as cargo became containerised. The opening of the Tilbury container docks
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

, further east in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, rendered them redundant and in 1980 the British government gained control. The Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 of the London Underground opened in 1979 from to as the first stage of an intended cross-town tube line
Jubilee Line Extension
The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line from to through south and east London. An eastward extension of the Jubilee line was first proposed in the 1970s and a modified route was constructed during the 1990s...

 beyond Charing Cross to south-east London. Although land, as at Ludgate Circus
Ludgate Circus
Ludgate Circus is a location in the City of London at the intersection of Farringdon Street / New Bridge Street with Fleet Street/Ludgate Hill....

 and Lewisham
Lewisham
Lewisham is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-History:...

, had been reserved for the second stage, the rising cost led to the project's indefinite postponement in the early 1980s.

The London Docklands Development Corporation
London Docklands Development Corporation
The London Docklands Development Corporation was a quango agency set up by the UK Government in 1981 to regenerate the depressed Docklands area of east London. During its eighteen-year existence it was responsible for regenerating an area of in the London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and...

 (LDDC), needing to provide public transport cheaply for the former docks area to stimulate regeneration, considered several proposals and chose a light-rail scheme using surviving dock railway infrastructure to link the West India Docks
West India Docks
The West India Docks are a series of three docks on the Isle of Dogs in London, the first of which opened in 1802. The docks closed to commercial traffic in 1980 and the Canary Wharf development was built on the site.-History:...

 to Tower Hill
Tower Hill
Tower Hill is an elevated spot northwest of the Tower of London, just outside the limits of the City of London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Formerly it was part of the Tower Liberty under the direct administrative control of Tower...

 and to run alongside the Great Eastern lines out of London to a northern terminus at station where a disused bay platform at the west of the station was available for interchanges with the Central Line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

 and main lines. Stratford was preferred to a alternative, which would have involved street running
Street running
On-street running or street running is when a railroad track or tramway track runs directly along city streets, without any separation. The rails are embedded in the road....

 trams and was at variance with the concept of a fully automated railway. The growth brought to Docklands enabled the Jubilee Line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 to be extended in 1999 to east London by a more southerly route than originally proposed, through Surrey Quays/Docks, Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

 and the Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula is an area of South London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs and Silvertown. To the south is the rest of Greenwich, to the south-east is Charlton.The peninsula lies...

 (which was the next regeneration area) to Stratford.

The contract for the initial system was awarded to G.E.C. Mowlem in 1984 and the system was constructed over three years from 1985 to 1987 at a cost of £77 million. The line was opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 on 30 July 1987, and passenger services began on 31 August of that year.

Initial system (1987–1990)

The initial system comprised two routes, one from Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 to Island Gardens
Island Gardens DLR station
Island Gardens DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, just north of the River Thames. It is in Travelcard Zone 2.The station is close to the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs and the River Thames...

 and the other from Stratford
Stratford station
Stratford station is a large multilevel railway station in Stratford, east London. The station is served by the National Rail services National Express East Anglia, London Overground and c2c, by London Underground's Central and Jubilee lines, and by the Docklands Light Railway . Stratford is in...

 to Island Gardens. Most of the track on these lines is elevated (either on disused railway viaducts or on newly built concrete viaducts) with some use of disused surface-level railway rights of way, although in the original plans for the DLR the lines were intended to be entirely above ground. The trains have always been fully automated and controlled by computer operations and normally have no driver; a Passenger Service Agent (PSA), originally referred to as a "Train Captain", on each train is responsible for patrolling the train, checking tickets, making announcements and controlling the doors. PSAs can also take control of the train in certain circumstances including equipment failure and emergencies.

The system was lightweight, with stations designed for trains with a length of only a single articulated vehicle. The three branches totalled 8 miles (12.9 km) of route, had 15 stations, and were connected by a flat triangular junction near Poplar
Poplar DLR station
Poplar is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in Travelcard Zone 2. It is served by three of the six regular routes on the DLR making it one of the busiest stations on the network in terms of services.-History:Long before the opening of the DLR in 1987, there had been three stations with the...

. Services ran Tower Gateway-Island Gardens and Stratford-Island Gardens, so the north side of the junction was only used for trains to travel to and from the depot at Poplar, not in regular passenger service. The first stations were mostly of a common design and constructed from standard components. A characteristic of them was a relatively short half-cylindrical glazed blue canopy to provide shelter from the rain. All stations were above ground and were generally unstaffed (stations located below ground built during later extensions were required by law to be staffed, in case evacuation is needed).

First stage extensions (1991–1994)

The initial system had little capacity, but the Docklands area very quickly developed into a major financial centre and employment zone, increasing the demand on the fledgling commuter network. In particular Tower Gateway, at the edge of the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, attracted criticism for its poor connections. This is partly because the system experienced higher than expected levels of usage. Plans were developed to extend to Bank and to Beckton before the system opened to the public. As a result, all stations and trains were extended to two-unit length, and the system was extended into the heart of the City of London to Bank underground station
Bank and Monument stations
Bank and Monument are interlinked London Underground and Docklands Light Railway stations that form a public transport complex spanning the length of King William Street in the City of London. Bank station, named after the Bank of England, opened in 1900 and is served by the Central, Northern and...

 through a new tunnel which opened in 1991. This extension diverged from the initial western branch, leaving Tower Gateway station
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 on a stub. The original trains, not suitable for use underground, became obsolete (see the Rolling Stock section below, and the main article Docklands Light Railway rolling stock
Docklands Light Railway rolling stock
Docklands Light Railway rolling stock is the passenger trains and service vehicles used on the Docklands Light Railway , which serves the London Docklands area in the east of London....

).

As the Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

 office complex grew, Canary Wharf DLR station
Canary Wharf DLR station
Canary Wharf DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station in London, England. Built into the base of One Canada Square, between two parts of a shopping centre, it serves the Canary Wharf office complex...

 was redeveloped from a small wayside station to a large one with six platforms serving three tracks, with a large overall roof, fully integrated into the malls below the office towers. The original DLR station was never completed and was dismantled before the line officially opened, although the automatically operated trains continued to stop at its location.

The areas in the east of Docklands needed better transport connections to encourage development and so a fourth branch was opened in 1994, from Poplar
Poplar DLR station
Poplar is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in Travelcard Zone 2. It is served by three of the six regular routes on the DLR making it one of the busiest stations on the network in terms of services.-History:Long before the opening of the DLR in 1987, there had been three stations with the...

 to Beckton
Beckton DLR station
Beckton DLR station is the eastern terminus of the Beckton branch of the Docklands Light Railway in the Docklands area of east London. It is located in Travelcard Zone 3. The DLR branch from Poplar was opened on 28 March 1994...

 via transport interchange, running along the north side of the Royal Docks complex. Initially it was thought likely to be underutilised, due to sparse development. Several proposals were made for the Blackwall area. As part of this extension, one side of the original flat triangular junction was replaced with a grade-separated
Grade separation
Grade separation is the method of aligning a junction of two or more transport axes at different heights so that they will not disrupt the traffic flow on other transit routes when they cross each other. The composition of such transport axes does not have to be uniform; it can consist of a...

 junction west of Poplar, and a new grade-separated junction was built at the divergence of the Stratford and Beckton lines east of Poplar. Poplar station was rebuilt to give cross-platform interchange
Cross-platform interchange
A cross-platform interchange is a type of interchange between different lines in a metro system. The term originates with the London Underground; such layouts exist in other networks but are not commonly so named...

 between the Stratford and Beckton lines.

Second stage extensions (1996–1999)

Early in the DLR operation, Lewisham London Borough Council
Lewisham London Borough Council
Lewisham London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Lewisham in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. The council is unusual in that its executive function is controlled by a directly elected mayor of...

 commissioned a feasibility study into extending the DLR under the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

. This led the council to advocate an extension to Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

, Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 and Lewisham. In its early days, the DLR had been criticised by some experts as being "the wrong type of system for Docklands' needs", in comparison with the Underground line
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 proposed in the 1980s. However, the ambitions of operators were supported by politicians in Parliament, including then Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott
John Prescott
John Leslie Prescott, Baron Prescott is a British politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, he represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010...

, and Lord Whitty, and by 1996 construction work on the line had begun as proposed.

On 3 December 1999 the Lewisham extension opened to the public. It left the original Island Gardens route south of the Crossharbour turn-back sidings, dropped gently to Mudchute where a street-level station replaced the high-level one on the former London & Blackwall Railway
London and Blackwall Railway
Originally called the Commercial Railway, the London and Blackwall Railway was a railway line in east London, England. It ran from the Minories to Blackwall via Stepney, with a branch line to the Isle of Dogs, thus connecting central London to many of London's docks in the 19th and 20th centuries...

 viaduct, and then entered a tunnel following the line of the viaduct and reached a new shallow subsurface station at Island Gardens, accessed by stairs. The line crossed under the Thames to Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark DLR station
Cutty Sark is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway system in central Greenwich, London. One of three DLR stations in the London Borough of Greenwich, it is also known as Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich for its location within the aforementioned district.-Location:The northernmost...

, a station in the centre of Greenwich, and then surfaced at the main-line Greenwich station
Greenwich station
Greenwich railway station is about 400 m southwest of the town centre of Greenwich, London, England. It is an interchange between National Rail trains between central London and Dartford , and the Docklands Light Railway between Lewisham to the south and the Docklands area and the City of London...

 with cross-platform interchange between the northbound DLR track and the city-bound main line. Then the line snaked on a concrete viaduct to Deptford, Elverson Road station at street level, close to Lewisham town centre and terminated in two platforms between and below the main-line platforms at Lewisham railway station, which is near the town shopping centre, with bus services stopping directly outside the station. The Lewisham extension quickly proved profitable.

Third stage extensions and enhancements (2004–2009)

The next series of developments of the DLR were aided by a five-year programme of investment for public transportation across London that was unveiled by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

 on 12 October 2004. On 2 December 2005, a new eastward branch, along the route of the former Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway
Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway
The Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway in east London connected the Royal Docks with the Eastern Counties Railway . Authorised in 1844, it opened in 1846, and was absorbed by the ECR in 1847...

 on the southern side of the Royal Docks
Royal Docks
The Royal Docks comprise three docks in east London - the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock. They are more correctly called the Royal Group of Docks to distinguish them from the Royal Dockyards, Royal being due to their naming after royal personages rather than...

 complex, opened from Canning Town to King George V
King George V DLR station
King George V DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway which opened on 2 December 2005 and named after King George V Dock, nearby. The station is in the London Borough of Newham and is located in Travelcard Zone 3. Station and on-train announcements refer to the station as 'King...

 via London City Airport
London City Airport DLR station
London City Airport DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway which serves the London City Airport. It opened on 2 December 2005. It is located on the King George V branch. Until the extension to Woolwich Arsenal, this station was the reason for this branch. It continues to be an...

.

A further extension link from King George V
King George V DLR station
King George V DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway which opened on 2 December 2005 and named after King George V Dock, nearby. The station is in the London Borough of Newham and is located in Travelcard Zone 3. Station and on-train announcements refer to the station as 'King...

 to Woolwich Arsenal opened on 10 January 2009, with the terminal station built at or close to the planned future stop on the Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 line to Abbey Wood via West India and Royal Docks., met by Private Finance Initiative
Private Finance Initiative
The private finance initiative is a way of creating "public–private partnerships" by funding public infrastructure projects with private capital...

 funding. Construction began in June 2005, the same month that the contracts were finalised, and the tunnels were completed on 23 July 2007, and officially opened by Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

, Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

 on 12 January 2009. Following completion, this project was shortlisted for the 2009 Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.

The original Tower Gateway station was closed in mid-2008 for complete reconstruction. The two terminal tracks either side of a narrow island platform were replaced by a single track between two platforms, one for arriving passengers and the other for those departing. The station reopened on 2 March 2009.

As part of an upgrade to the system to allow three-car trains, some strengthening work was necessary at the Delta Junction north of West India Quay
West India Quay DLR station
West India Quay DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in London, England. It is situated at the point where the line from Lewisham splits into branches to Tower Gateway/Bank and Stratford. The next stations on each line are Canary Wharf DLR station , Westferry and Poplar DLR...

. It was decided to include this in a plan for further grade-separation at this critical junction to eliminate the conflict between services to Stratford and from Bank. Following this, a new timetable has been introduced with improved frequencies in peak hours. The new grade-separated route from Bank to Canary Wharf is only used at peak times as it bypasses West India Quay station. Work on this project proceeded concurrently with the three-car upgrade work and the 'flyunder', and the improved timetable came into use on 24 August 2009.

Olympics Extension (2011)

In addition to the 3-car station extensions, part of which was funded from the 2012 Olympics budget, a further DLR line was opened from Canning Town to Stratford, and onwards to Stratford International. This was built along the line of the former North London Line of the national rail system, with a number of additional, closer spaced stations, and also parallels the London Underground Jubilee Line for much of its length. As part of the project a substantial multi-level flying junction was built south of Canning Town to enable trains from both the Bank/Poplar direction, and also from the Stratford International direction, to operate to either of the eastern termini at Beckton ad Woolwich Arsenal, and the train service provides through services between all these points, although with different patterns at different times of the day. The Stratford International extension suffered some delay in opening, finally being completed in September 2011. It provides a direct link between two of the major Olympics locations, the main stadium at Stratford and the Excel Centre adjacent to Custom House station on the Beckton line.

Overview

The DLR is now 19 miles (30.6 km) long, with 45 stations along the route. There are six branches: to Lewisham
Lewisham station
Lewisham station is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway station in Lewisham, south east London. It is on the south-east London commuter rail network operated by Southeastern. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 on a southward extension from Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs...

 in the south, to and Stratford International in the north, to Beckton
Beckton DLR station
Beckton DLR station is the eastern terminus of the Beckton branch of the Docklands Light Railway in the Docklands area of east London. It is located in Travelcard Zone 3. The DLR branch from Poplar was opened on 28 March 1994...

 and to Woolwich Arsenal in the east, and to Central London in the west, splitting to serve and Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

. Although the layout allows many different combinations of routes, at present the following six are operated in normal service:
  • Stratford to Lewisham
  • Bank to Lewisham
  • Bank to Woolwich Arsenal
  • Tower Gateway to Beckton
  • Stratford International to Woolwich Arsenal (Weekday peak hours only)
  • Stratford International to Beckton

There is an additional shuttle service from Canning Town to Prince Regent, operated when exhibitions are in progress at the ExCeL exhibition centre, to double the normal service. These trains reverse direction in the eastbound platform at Canning Town and on a crossover at the high point where the line crosses the Connaught Crossing road bridge between Prince Regent and Royal Albert stations.

At other stations trains reverse direction in the terminal platforms, except at Bank where there is a reversing headshunt beyond the station. Some peak hour trains on the Stratford line turn back at Crossharbour
Crossharbour and London Arena DLR station
Crossharbour is a DLR station west of Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs in east London. It is between Mudchute and South Quay stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2....

 rather than continuing to Lewisham. There are also occasional trains from Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 to Crossharbour and Lewisham
Lewisham station
Lewisham station is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway station in Lewisham, south east London. It is on the south-east London commuter rail network operated by Southeastern. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 on a southward extension from Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs...

. Trains serve every station on the route with the exception of peak services from Westferry to Canary Wharf. These services are unable to call at West India Quay because they are routed along a different track to avoid junction conflicts. During the substantial long-term works for various DLR extension projects, a range of other routes may be operated at weekends, such as Beckton to Lewisham if the Bank branch is closed.

The northern, southern and south-eastern branches terminate at the National Rail (main line) stations at Stratford, Stratford International, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal. Other direct interchanges between the DLR and National Rail are at Limehouse
Limehouse station
Limehouse station is a railway station located in the Limehouse district of east London. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and is served by Docklands Light Railway services and by National Rail services operated by c2c out of Fenchurch Street station...

, Greenwich
Greenwich station
Greenwich railway station is about 400 m southwest of the town centre of Greenwich, London, England. It is an interchange between National Rail trains between central London and Dartford , and the Docklands Light Railway between Lewisham to the south and the Docklands area and the City of London...

 and West Ham
West Ham station
West Ham station is an interchange station located on the corner of Manor Road and Memorial Avenue in the West Ham neighbourhood of the London Borough of Newham in east London, England. The station is served by London Underground, National Rail and Docklands Light Railway services...

.

Stations


Most DLR stations are elevated, with others at street level, in a cutting, or underground. Access to the platforms is mostly by staircase and lift, although there are escalators at some stations. From the outset the network has been fully accessible to wheelchairs; much attention was paid to quick and effective accessibility for all passengers. The stations have high platforms, matching the floor height of the cars, allowing easy access for passengers with wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Most stations are of a modular design dating back to the initial system, extended and improved over the years. This design has two side platforms, each with separate access from the street, and platform canopies with a distinctive rounded roof design. Stations are unstaffed, except the underground stations at , Island Gardens
Island Gardens DLR station
Island Gardens DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, just north of the River Thames. It is in Travelcard Zone 2.The station is close to the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs and the River Thames...

, Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark DLR station
Cutty Sark is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway system in central Greenwich, London. One of three DLR stations in the London Borough of Greenwich, it is also known as Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich for its location within the aforementioned district.-Location:The northernmost...

 and Woolwich Arsenal (for safety reasons), a few of the busier interchange stations and City Airport which has a manned ticket office to cater for passengers unfamiliar with the system. Canning Town, interchange with the Jubilee line, along with the exhibition centre stations at Custom House and Prince Regent, are normally staffed on the platform whenever there is any significant exhibition at the ExCeL exhibition centre. During the recent engineering works which have closed the Bank branch, additional staff were present at Tower Gateway to ensure the larger numbers of passengers using the station were able to board/exit trains safely.

On 3 July 2007, DLR officially launched an art programme called DLR Art, similar to that on the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

, Art on the Underground. Alan Williams was appointed to produce the first temporary commission, called "Sidetrack", which portrays the ordinary and extraordinary sights often unfamiliar to passengers, on the system and was displayed throughout the network.

Fares and ticketing

Ticketing on the DLR is part of the London fare zone system, and Travelcard
Travelcard
The Travelcard is an inter-modal travel ticket for unlimited use on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink, London Buses and National Rail services in the Greater London area. Travelcards can be purchased for a period of time varying from one day to a year,...

s that cover the correct zones are valid. There are one-day and season DLR-only "Rover" tickets available, plus a one-day DLR "Rail and River Rover" ticket for use on the DLR and on City Cruises river boats. Oyster
Oyster card
The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services within the Greater London area of the United Kingdom. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on a number of different travel systems across London including London Underground, buses, the Docklands...

 Pre-Pay is also available; passengers need to both touch in and touch out on the platform readers or pass through the automatic gates. Tickets must be purchased from ticket machines at the entrance to the platforms, and are required before the passenger enters the platform. There are no ticket barriers in DLR-only stations, and correct ticketing is enforced by on-train checks by the PSA. There are barriers at Bank, , Woolwich Arsenal and , where the DLR platforms are within the barrier lines of a London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 or National Rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 station.

Although Oyster cards are TfL's preferred method of ticketing on the DLR, there are some differences in the implementation compared to the Underground. Stations are basic and most do not have ticket gates. There have been criticisms that the Oyster touch in/out units are not readily apparent, particularly to infrequent passengers, as they have been sited where there is an electrical supply, which may not be the most obvious point for users. London City Airport station, which is used by many travellers from overseas, is a particular example of this.

Performance

The DLR is now used by up to 100,000 people every day. Within a year of launch, annual passenger numbers were 17 million. By 2009 this had increased to 64 million. While the first five years were plagued by unreliability and operational problems, the system has now become highly reliable. In 2008, 87% of the population of North Woolwich were in favour of the DLR.

The Parliamentary Transport Select Committee has reviewed light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

. Due to the success of the DLR, proposals for similar systems elsewhere have emerged. The North and West London Light Railway
North and West London Light Railway
The North and West London Light Railway , formerly proposed-named as Brent Cross Railway, is a potential light rail service proposed by the London group of the Campaign for Better Transport, intended to serve parts of north, northwest and west London, being similar to the Docklands Light Railway...

 is one such plan for an orbital railway serving the other side of London.

The Docklands Light Railway has been successful, as with other light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 systems built in recent years. However, the DLR has been criticised for having been designed with insufficient capacity to meet the demand that quickly arose. The level of demand was underestimated. In 1989 such criticism was aimed at GEC, a major contractor for the DLR construction. There remains debate in the UK as to whether light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 is cost-effective, with criticism focused on alleged low ridership and cost overruns.
The only bicycles allowed on its trains are folding ones. DLR cars are not designed with bicycles in mind – if they were allowed, they might obstruct doors and emergency exits.

Rolling stock


The DLR is operated by high-floor, bi-directional, single-articulated electrical multiple unit cars. Each car has four doors on each side, and two or three cars make up each train. There are no driver's cabs because normal operations are automated. Instead, the cars have a small driver's console (concealed behind a locked panel at each car end) from which the PSA (Passenger Service Agent) can drive the car. Consoles at each door opening allow the PSA to control door closure and make announcements whilst patrolling the train. Because of the absence of a driver's position, the fully glazed car ends provide an unusual forward (or rear) view for passengers. The current stock has a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph).

Despite having high floors and being highly automated, the cars are derived from a German light-rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 design intended for use in systems with street running. All the cars that have operated on the system to date look similar, but there have been several different types, some still in service and others sold to other operators. New units (B2007) for the Docklands Light Railway were purchased from Bombardier in 2005 and delivered between 2007 and 2010.

There are two operating and maintenance depots. The first was built at Poplar
Poplar DLR depot
The Poplar Traincare Depot, also known as the Operations and Maintenance Centre , is the secondary depot for the Docklands Light Railway. It was the primary depot until Beckton DLR depot was built....

, but its is now secondary to the larger site at Beckton
Beckton DLR depot
Beckton Traincare Depot is the primary railway maintenance depot for the Docklands Light Railway.Before its construction, Poplar DLR depot was the primary maintenace depot...

, built on the site of the former Beckton Gas Works
Beckton Gas Works
Beckton Gas Works was a major London gas works built to manufacture coal gas and other products including coke from coal. It has been variously described as 'the largest such plant in the world' and 'the largest gas works in Europe'. It operated from 1870 to 1969, with an associated by-products...

 in 1996. Rolling stock is kept at both locations, furnished with maintenance workshops and extensive open-air carriage sidings. The Poplar depot, which is also the operating headquarters of DLR Limited and Serco Docklands, contains diesel locomotives used for track maintenance tasks. Poplar is located alongside the north side of the Stratford line east of the station, while the Beckton depot is to the east of the line on a long spur north-east of Gallions Reach station.

Signalling technology

Originally the DLR used signalling
Railway signalling
Railway signalling is a system used to control railway traffic safely, essentially to prevent trains from colliding. Being guided by fixed rails, trains are uniquely susceptible to collision; furthermore, trains cannot stop quickly, and frequently operate at speeds that do not enable them to stop...

 based on a fixed-block technology developed by GEC-General Signal and General Railway Signal
General Railway Signal
General Railway Signal Company was a supplier of railway signaling equipment, systems and services in the Rochester, New York area. The company was established in 1904 and became part of Alstom Transport in 1998...

. This was replaced in 1994 with a moving-block TBTC (Transmission Based Train Control) system developed by Alcatel
Alcatel
Alcatel Mobile Phones is a brand of mobile handsets. It was established in 2004 as a joint venture between Alcatel-Lucent of France and TCL Communication of China....

, called SelTrac
SelTrac
SELTrac is a digital signalling technology used to control the movements of rail vehicles originally developed by Standard Elektrik Lorenz . It was originally developed for the Krauss-Maffei Transurban automated guideway transit system developed in the 1970s, and moved to the ICTS vehicle when the...

. The SelTrac
SelTrac
SELTrac is a digital signalling technology used to control the movements of rail vehicles originally developed by Standard Elektrik Lorenz . It was originally developed for the Krauss-Maffei Transurban automated guideway transit system developed in the 1970s, and moved to the ICTS vehicle when the...

 system was bought by Thales
Thales Group
The Thales Group is a French electronics company delivering information systems and services for the aerospace, defense, transportation and security markets...

 in 2007 and current updates are being provided by Thales Rail Signalling Solutions. The same technology is used for some other rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 systems, including Vancouver's SkyTrain
SkyTrain (Vancouver)
SkyTrain is a light rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. SkyTrain has of track and uses fully automated trains on grade-separated tracks, running mostly on elevated guideways, which helps SkyTrain to hold consistently high on-time reliability...

, Toronto's SRT, San Francisco's Municipal Railway (MUNI
Muni
"Muni" is a common abbreviation for "municipal" or a city-related service or organization:*The Muny, an outdoor musical theatre in St. Louis, Missouri*Municipal bond*San Francisco Municipal Railway, the public transit agency for San Francisco, California...

) and Hong Kong's MTR
MTR
Mass Transit Railway is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Originally opened in 1979, the system now includes 211.6 km of rail with 155 stations, including 86 railway stations and 69 light rail stops...

, the SelTrac
SelTrac
SELTrac is a digital signalling technology used to control the movements of rail vehicles originally developed by Standard Elektrik Lorenz . It was originally developed for the Krauss-Maffei Transurban automated guideway transit system developed in the 1970s, and moved to the ICTS vehicle when the...

 S40 system is currently being adopted by the Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 and Northern line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

 on London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

. Transmissions occur via an inductive loop cable between each train's Vehicle On-Board Controller (VOBC) and the control centre (VCC, SMC) at Poplar. If this link is broken i.e. communication is lost between the VOBC and VCC, SMC, the train emergency brakes and stops until it is authorised to move again. If the whole system fails the train can run in restricted manual at only 12 miles per hour (19.3 km/h) for safety until the system is restored and communication is re-established. Emergency brakes can be applied if the train breaks the speed limit during manual control or overshoots a fixed stopping point, or if the train leaves the station when the route has not been set.

SelTrac
SelTrac
SELTrac is a digital signalling technology used to control the movements of rail vehicles originally developed by Standard Elektrik Lorenz . It was originally developed for the Krauss-Maffei Transurban automated guideway transit system developed in the 1970s, and moved to the ICTS vehicle when the...

: Standard Elektrik Lorenz Transport Control System
VOBC: Vehicle On-Board Controller
SMC: System Management Center
VCC: Vehicle Control Center

Current developments

With the development of the eastern Docklands as part of the Thames Gateway
Thames Gateway
The Thames Gateway is an area of land stretching east from inner east London on both sides of the River Thames and the Thames Estuary. The area, which includes much brownfield land, has been designated a national priority for urban regeneration, taking advantage of the development opportunities...

 initiative and London’s successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

, several extensions and enhancements are under construction, being planned or being discussed.

Upgrading entire system to three-car trains

Status – Complete


The capacity of the entire system has been increased by upgrading it to take three-car trains. The alternative of more frequent trains was rejected as the signalling changes needed would have cost no less than upgrading to longer trains and with fewer benefits. The railway was originally built for single-car operation, and the upgrade required both strengthening viaducts to take the heavier longer trains and lengthening many platforms; however, recent extensions were already built to take three-car trains. It has been suggested that the extra capacity will be useful during the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

, which are expected to increase the use of London's transport network. The main contractor selected to carry out the expansion and alteration works on the DLR network was Taylor Woodrow
Taylor Woodrow
Taylor Woodrow was one of the largest British housebuilding and general construction companies. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but merged with rival George Wimpey to create Taylor Wimpey on 3 July 2007.-Early years:Frank Taylor was...

.

A few stations (Elverson Road, Pudding Mill Lane (one platform Stratford-bound), Royal Albert, Gallions Reach, Cutty Sark) have not been extended to accept three-car trains; such extension may be impossible in some cases. Selective door operation
Selective Door Operation
Selective Door Operation, also called Selective Door Opening is a mechanism employed primarily on trains that allows the Driver or Conductor/Guard to open the doors of a train separately.- Purpose and operation of SDO :Selective Door Operation is a system used by trains for the safe...

 will be used instead, with emergency walkways in case a door fails to remain shut. For instance Cutty Sark station
Cutty Sark DLR station
Cutty Sark is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway system in central Greenwich, London. One of three DLR stations in the London Borough of Greenwich, it is also known as Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich for its location within the aforementioned district.-Location:The northernmost...

 is underground, and both costs and the risk to nearby historic buildings prevent platform extension. The tunnel there was built with an emergency walkway throughout its length. Additional work beyond that needed to take the three-car trains has been carried out at some stations. This included replacing canopies with more substantial ones along the full platform length. A new South Quay station
South Quay DLR station
South Quay is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, in London. It is between Crossharbour and Heron Quays stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2....

 has been built 200 metres (656.2 ft) to the east of the former location as nearby curves precluded lengthening. Mudchute
Mudchute DLR station
Mudchute DLR station is a light rail station in London, on the Isle of Dogs near to Millwall Dock.It is on the Lewisham branch of the Docklands Light Railway and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The original station was on the route of the Millwall Extension Railway which was an old Victorian railway line...

 now has a third platform and all its platforms have full-length canopies. Tower Gateway
Tower Gateway DLR station
Tower Gateway is a Docklands Light Railway station near the Tower of London. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It adjoins the tracks to Fenchurch Street station and is on the site of the closed Minories railway station....

 was closed until March 2009 and re-opened as a single-track three-car terminus with two platforms – one side for boarding and the other for alighting.

For this upgrade DLR purchased an additional 31 cars compatible with existing rolling stock to meet the demand for more train units. The works were originally planned as three separate phases: Bank-Lewisham, Poplar-Stratford, and finally the Beckton branch. The original £200m works contract was awarded on 3 May 2007. Work started in 2007 and the Bank-Lewisham phase was originally due to be completed in 2009. However, the work programme for the first two phases was merged and the infrastructure work was completed by the end of January 2010. The Lewisham-Bank route now exclusively runs three-car trains on Mondays-Fridays. They started running on the Beckton branch on 9 May 2011. Other routes will run the longer trains when demand builds up to require it.

Stratford International extension

Status – Complete

The extension to Stratford International station
Stratford International station
Stratford International station is a main line railway and Docklands Light Railway station located in Stratford in the London Borough of Newham in northeast London, United Kingdom...

 taking over that part of the North London Line
North London Line
The North London Line is a railway line which passes through the inner suburbs of north London, England. Its route is a rough semicircle from the south west to the north east, avoiding central London. The line is owned and maintained by Network Rail...

 from Canning Town to Stratford, links the Docklands area with domestic and international high-speed services on High Speed 1. It is an important part of transport improvements for the 2012 Olympic Games, much of which will be held on a site adjoining Stratford International. The first contract for construction work was awarded on 10 January 2007 and construction work started in mid 2007. Originally scheduled to open in mid 2010, the line opened to public service on the 31 August 2011.

Station names in bold are former North London Line stations.

New stations for DLR are:
  • Star Lane
    Star Lane DLR station
    Star Lane DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station in Newham, East London. On the Stratford International extension of the Docklands Light Railway between Stratford and Canning Town, it opened on 31 August 2011.-History:...

  • Abbey Road
    Abbey Road DLR station
    Abbey Road DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station in the West Ham neighbourhood of the London Borough of Newham, in east London, England...

  • Stratford High Street
    Stratford High Street DLR station
    Stratford High Street DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station in the Stratford neighbourhood of the London Borough of Newham, in east London, England. It is located on the Stratford International extension of the Docklands Light Railway, which opened on 31 August 2011...

     (on the site of the former )
  • low level
  • Stratford International
    Stratford International station
    Stratford International station is a main line railway and Docklands Light Railway station located in Stratford in the London Borough of Newham in northeast London, United Kingdom...



From Canning Town to Stratford low level the Stratford International extension runs parallel to the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

. As well as providing an interchange with the adjacent Jubilee line stations there will be additional DLR-only stations at Star Lane, Abbey Road and Stratford High Street.

At Stratford new platforms have been built for the North London Line at a new location at the northern end of the station. The old platforms (formerly 1 and 2) adjacent to the Jubilee line have been rebuilt for the DLR and are renumbered 16 (towards Stratford International) and 17 (towards Beckton/Woolwich Arsenal). Interchange between the Stratford International branch and DLR trains via Poplar will be possible although their platforms are widely separated and at different levels. There is no physical connection between the two branches. As part of the Transport & Works Act
Transport and Works Act 1992
The Transport and Works Act 1992 was established by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to provide a system by which the construction of rail transport, tramway, inland waterway and harbour infrastructure could proceed in the UK by order of the Minister of State for Transport rather than, as...

 (TWA) application, Royal Victoria
Royal Victoria DLR station
The Royal Victoria Station is on the Docklands Light Railway in east London. It opened on 28 March 1994 and is named after the nearby Royal Victoria Dock.It is on the DLR's Beckton branch, in Travelcard Zone 3....

 station on the Beckton branch has been be extended to accommodate three-car trains, with a siding to enable trains to reverse there, using land released by the closure of this section of the parallel North London Line. A partly grade-separated junction has been built south of Canning Town to prevent conflicting movements between the existing Bank branch and the Stratford International branch going to and from the Beckton and Woolwich Arsenal branches.

Relocation of Pudding Mill Lane station

Status – Under Construction

When Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 is built, one of its tunnel portals will be on the current site of Pudding Mill Lane station. As a consequence, work has begun to divert the DLR between City Mill River and the River Lea onto a new viaduct to be built further south. This will include a replacement station. The current station is situated on the only significant section of single track on the system, between Bow Church and Stratford; the opportunity may be taken to double the track here to improve capacity, although there is no provision for works beyond the realigned section in the Crossrail Act
Crossrail Act 2008
The Crossrail Act 2008 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that authorises the construction of the Crossrail railway from Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. The legislation was introduced by the then Secretary of State for Transport Douglas Alexander and...

.

Dagenham Dock extension

Status – Not currently being developed

This proposed extension from Gallions Reach
Gallions Reach DLR station
Gallions Reach DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in the Docklands area of east London.The station is located on the DLR's Beckton branch, between Cyprus and Beckton stations...

 to via the riverside at Barking would connect the Barking Reach area, a formerly industrial area now due to be a major redevelopment as part of the London Riverside
London Riverside
The London Riverside is a new development area in north east London, England and part of the larger Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The London Riverside area forms part of the Green Enterprise District, a project to create a low-carbon economy region in Greater London.It is one of two zones...

, with the Docklands. It would cover major developments at Creekmouth, Barking Riverside, Dagenham Dock Opportunity Area, and five stations are planned, at Beckton Riverside station, Creekmouth, Barking Riverside, Goresbrook (formerly Dagenham Vale) and Dagenham Dock. The extension is key if English Partnerships
English Partnerships
English Partnerships was the national regeneration agency for England, performing a similar role on a national level to that fulfilled by Regional Development Agencies on a regional level...

' plan is to work. As shown in DLR's first consultation leaflet, there are proposals for the DLR to extend further than , possibly to or Rainham
Rainham railway station (London)
Rainham railway station is located in Rainham, in the London Borough of Havering in northeast London, England. It is in London fare zone 6 and is managed, and passenger train services are provided, by c2c. The station was opened in 1854 as part of the original route of the London, Tilbury and...

.

Construction was not expected to start until 2013, and the earliest expected completion date was 2017. However, the financial downturn meant that TfL requested a delay to the public enquiry whilst funding was clarified. Given that the purpose of the extension was to serve as-yet unbuilt homes, it became very difficult to predict timescales for this project. The project has been reported to have been cancelled by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

 as a cost-cutting measure, although there have been calls for this to be reconsidered, the extension being regarded by Barking and Dagenham council as essential to regenerating the area.

In October 2009, the plan had seemed to be once again under consideration. The Mayor's Transport Strategy stated that the Mayor, through Transport for London, would investigate the feasibility of the extension to Dagenham Dock as part of the housing proposals for Barking Riverside.

Thames Wharf station

Status – On hold

This station had been included as potential future development on the London City Airport extension since it was first planned. It would be between and West Silvertown
West Silvertown DLR station
West Silvertown is a station on the Docklands Light Railway which opened in December 2005. It is located on the Woolwich Arsenal branch. Trains run Westbound to Bank in the City of London and Eastbound to Woolwich Arsenal, passing through London City Airport station.The station is in the London...

, due west of the western end of Royal Victoria Dock
Royal Victoria Dock
The Royal Victoria Dock is the largest of three docks in the Royal Docks of east London, now part of the redeveloped Docklands.-History:...

. Since the station's intended purpose is to serve the surrounding area (currently a mix of brownfield and run-down industrial sites) when it is regenerated, the development is indefinitely on hold due to the area being safeguarded for the Silvertown Link
Silvertown Link
The Silvertown Link is a new Thames river crossing proposed to supplement the existing Blackwall Tunnel, although this crossing will join the Greenwich Peninsula with West Silvertown.It is intended to ease traffic congestion around the Blackwall Tunnel...

, a new Thames river crossing that has been proposed but currently has no timetable for implementation.

Connaught Road/Silvertown Interchange station

Status – Proposed

A site near to London City Airport
London City Airport
London City Airport is a single-runway airport. It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a former Docklands site, east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in east London. It was developed by the engineering...

 has been identified as a possible additional station on the London City Airport branch. The Connaught Tunnel
Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway
The Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway in east London connected the Royal Docks with the Eastern Counties Railway . Authorised in 1844, it opened in 1846, and was absorbed by the ECR in 1847...

 is here, and will be used again when some of the former Custom House to North Woolwich section of the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway is taken over by Crossrail. However, no plans have emerged as if or when a station might be built here, even though the original extension was designed to allow this. It may be located south of the Connaught Crossing.

Victoria/Charing Cross extension

Status – Proposed – 2006

In February 2006 a proposal to extend the DLR to station from DLR branch was revealed. The idea, originating from a DLR "Horizon Study", is at a very early stage at the moment, but would involve extending the line from Bank in bored tunnels under Central London to the Charing Cross Jubilee Line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 platforms, which would be brought back to public use. These platforms are now on a spur off the current Jubilee line and are not used by passenger trains. It has since been revealed that a proposed route as far as station will be investigated.

While not confirmed, it is probable that the scheme would also use the existing overrun tunnels between the Charing Cross Jubilee platforms and a location slightly to the west of . These tunnels were intended to be incorporated into the abandoned Phase 2 of the Fleet Line (Phase 1 became the original Jubilee Line, prior to the Jubilee Line Extension). However they would need some enlargement because DLR gauge
Loading gauge
A loading gauge defines the maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure safe passage through bridges, tunnels and other structures...

 is larger than tube gauge and current safety regulations would require an emergency walkway to be provided in the tunnel.

Two reasons driving the proposal are capacity problems at Bank, having basically one interchange between the DLR and the central portion of Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

, and the difficult journeys faced by passengers from Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 and South Coast between their rail termini and the DLR. Intermediate stations would be at Ludgate Circus and Aldwych
Aldwych
Aldwych is a place and road in the City of Westminster in London, England.-Description:Aldwych, the road, is a crescent, connected to the Strand at both ends. At its centre, it meets the Kingsway...

, which was intended for future connection with the proposed but now abandoned Cross River Tram
Cross River Tram
Cross River Tram was a Transport for London proposal for a tram system in London, England, UK. It was planned to run on a north-south route from Camden Town in the north, through and , to Peckham and Brixton in the south....

.

Euston/King's Cross extension

Status – Proposed

During the last Horizon study, a possible extension was considered from Bank towards or . The main benefit of such an extension would be to broaden the available direct transport links to the Canary Wharf site. It would create a new artery in central London and help relieve the Northern and Circle lines. There are no official plans for possible stations except towards , possibly using some of the disused Thameslink
Thameslink
Thameslink is a fifty-station main-line route in the British railway system running north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton, serving both London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport. It opened as a through service in 1988 and by 1998 was severely overcrowded, carrying more than...

 infrastructure.

Lewisham to Catford extension

Status – Proposed – 2006

This possible extension was considered during the latest Horizon Study. The route would follow the Southeastern
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

 line and terminate between and stations. It has been seen as attractive to the district, as has the current terminus at Lewisham which was built in an earlier extension. However, early plans showed problems due to Lewisham DLR station being only marginally lower than the busy A20 road which impedes any proposed extension. The plan is however being revised. When the Lewisham extension was first completed there were proposals to continue further to Beckenham
Beckenham
Beckenham is a town in the London Borough of Bromley, England. It is located 8.4 miles south east of Charing Cross and 1.75 miles west of Bromley town...

 to link it up with the Tramlink
Tramlink
Tramlink is a tramway system in south London in the United Kingdom which began operation in May 2000...

 system. However, the way in which Lewisham DLR was built impedes this possible extension and it would prove costly to redevelop.

Overrun of station buffers

On 10 March 1987, before the railway opened, a test train crashed through station buffer stop
Buffer stop
A buffer stop or bumper is a device to prevent railway vehicles from going past the end of a physical section of track.The design of the buffer stop is dependent in part upon the kind of couplings that the railway uses, since the coupling gear is the first part of the vehicle that the buffer stop...

s at the original high-level terminus Island Gardens
Island Gardens DLR station
Island Gardens DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, just north of the River Thames. It is in Travelcard Zone 2.The station is close to the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs and the River Thames...

 station and was left hanging from the end of the elevated track. The accident was caused by unauthorised tests being run before accident-preventing modifications had been installed. The train was being driven manually at the time.

Collision at West India Quay bridge

On 22 April 1991, two trains collided at a junction on the West India Quay
West India Quay DLR station
West India Quay DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in London, England. It is situated at the point where the line from Lewisham splits into branches to Tower Gateway/Bank and Stratford. The next stations on each line are Canary Wharf DLR station , Westferry and Poplar DLR...

 bridge during morning rush hour
Rush hour
A rush hour or peak hour is a part of the day during which traffic congestion on roads and crowding on public transport is at its highest. Normally, this happens twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening, the times during when the most people commute...

, requiring a shutdown of the entire system and evacuation of the involved passengers by ladder. One of the two trains was travelling automatically, operating without a driver, while the other was under manual control.

South Quay bombing

On 9 February 1996, the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 blew up a lorry
Lorry
-Transport:* Lorry or truck, a large motor vehicle* Lorry, or a Mine car in USA: an open gondola with a tipping trough* Lorry , a horse-drawn low-loading trolley-In fiction:...

 under a bridge near South Quay
South Quay DLR station
South Quay is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, in London. It is between Crossharbour and Heron Quays stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2....

, killing two people and injuring many others. This number would have been higher had there not been an advance warning. The blast caused £85 million of damage and marked an end to the IRA ceasefire. Significant disruption was caused to DLR services, and a train was left stranded at Island Gardens station, unable to move until the track was rebuilt.

Management

The DLR is owned by DLR Limited, part of the London Rail
London Rail
London Rail is a directorate of Transport for London , involved in the relationship with the National Rail network within London, UK. It manages non-tube rail systems in London.-Operations:...

 division of TfL, which also manages London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

, London Tramlink
London Tramlink
London Tramlink is an arm of Transport for London, which manages the second generation of tram services within London, UK. Current and planned tram systems are:*Tramlink operates a three-route system in the area of South London around Croydon...

 and Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

. London Rail first awarded the concession to operate the DLR in 1997 to Serco Docklands Ltd, a joint organisation of the former DLR management team and Serco Group
Serco Group
Serco Group plc is a government services company based in Hook, North Hampshire in the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

. Serco has won all subsequent contracts, the latest being a seven-year contract awarded in May 2006. Three recent extensions, Lewisham, City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal, have also been designed, financed, built and now maintained by private companies: City Greenwich Lewisham (CGL) Rail, City Airport Rail Enterprises (CARE) and Woolwich Arsenal Rail Enterprises (WARE).

Prior to 1997, the DLR was a wholly owned subsidiary of London Regional Transport
London Regional Transport
London Regional Transport was the organisation responsible for the public transport network in Greater London, UK from 1984-2000. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport.The organisation was...

. In 1992 it was transferred to the London Docklands Development Corporation
London Docklands Development Corporation
The London Docklands Development Corporation was a quango agency set up by the UK Government in 1981 to regenerate the depressed Docklands area of east London. During its eighteen-year existence it was responsible for regenerating an area of in the London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and...

, sponsored by the Department of Environment
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom...

. In 1994 it was announced that the DLR would be privatised, which led to the concession being granted to Serco in 1997.

See also

  • List of Docklands Light Railway stations
  • List of tram and light-rail transit systems
  • Rail transport in the United Kingdom
    Rail transport in the United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and previously consisted of Great Britain and the whole of Ireland. Rail transport systems developed independently on the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and most of the railway construction in the Republic of Ireland was...

  • Transport in London
    Transport in London
    London's transport forms the hub of the road, rail and air networks in the United Kingdom. It has its own dense and extensive internal private and public transport networks, as well as providing a focal point for the national road and railway networks...

     (overview)

External links



West: Crossings of the River Thames
Crossings of the River Thames
This is a list of crossings of the River Thames including bridges, tunnels and ferries. There are 214 bridges, over 20 tunnels, six public ferries and one ford.-Barrier and boundary:...

East:
Greenwich foot tunnel
Greenwich foot tunnel
The Greenwich foot tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in East London, linking Greenwich in the south with the Isle of Dogs to the north...

Lewisham
Lewisham station
Lewisham station is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway station in Lewisham, south east London. It is on the south-east London commuter rail network operated by Southeastern. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 on a southward extension from Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs...

 branch,
between Island Gardens
Island Gardens DLR station
Island Gardens DLR station is a Docklands Light Railway station on the Isle of Dogs, just north of the River Thames. It is in Travelcard Zone 2.The station is close to the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs and the River Thames...


and Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark DLR station
Cutty Sark is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway system in central Greenwich, London. One of three DLR stations in the London Borough of Greenwich, it is also known as Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich for its location within the aforementioned district.-Location:The northernmost...

Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...


between
and
Woolwich foot tunnel
Woolwich foot tunnel
The Woolwich foot tunnel is a tunnel crossing under the River Thames in East London from Woolwich in the London Borough of Greenwich to North Woolwich in the London Borough of Newham. The tunnel offers pedestrians an alternative way to cross the river when the Woolwich Ferry service is not operating...

Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

 branch,
between King George V
King George V DLR station
King George V DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway which opened on 2 December 2005 and named after King George V Dock, nearby. The station is in the London Borough of Newham and is located in Travelcard Zone 3. Station and on-train announcements refer to the station as 'King...


and Woolwich Arsenal
(Thames Gateway Bridge
Thames Gateway Bridge
The Thames Gateway Bridge was a proposed crossing over the River Thames in east London, England. It was first mooted in the 1970s but never came to fruition...

 – proposed)
380kV Thames Crossing
380kV Thames Crossing
There are a number of substantial overhead powerline river crossings in the United Kingdom.The tallest electricity pylons in the UK are those of the 380kV Thames Crossing, at West Thurrock, which are 190 m high. These were constructed by BICC in 1965...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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