3-Car DLR services start on Stratford – Lewisham

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The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) capacity enhancement project is making extremely good progress, with three-car trains in starting operation yesterday (Tuesday 30th November, 2010) on the Stratford – Lewisham route. This increases capacity by 50% per three-car train during the morning peak.

The Director of the DLR, Jonathan Fox, said: “We are continuing to deliver an increase in capacity across the network as promised and local residents and passengers are now seeing the benefits of this.

“The additional carriages will allow more than a thousand extra passengers to travel on this route every hour and mean less crowding at stations.”

This is the second section of the DLR to be upgraded to three cars, after the Bank – Lewisham route started operating with three cars in February this year.

Fifty-five new carriages have been added to the DLR fleet to enable three-car operation. Delivered over the last two years at a cost of £100 million, these trains were funded by Transport for London (£80 million) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (£20 million).
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport adviser, said: “Increasing capacity on the Docklands Light Railway is part of the Mayor’s continued commitment to improve the journeys of those using public transport across the city.”

The DLR is boosting capacity on all of its routes in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, when 500,000 people are expected to be using the system per day. So far, the record number of journeys in one day on the DLR network was set early last month on 10th November during the World Travel Market at the ExCeL when 303,000 were made.

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Director of Transport Hugh Sumner said: “The introduction of three-car trains on the Stratford-Lewisham line will deliver additional capacity before, during and after the Games.”

This does not mean, however, that all services on the route will be operated using three-car trains:
During the morning peak, services will alternate between trains with two cars and trains with three
During the afternoon peak and off-peak hours, the longer three-car trains will run according to demand

[It looks like TfL want to see what will work best, but during the Games you probably could expect all services to be run with three cars. – GM]

Hugh Sumner continues: “The ODA welcomes this upgrade as part of a £6.5 billion nationwide investment in transport associated with the Games, as the route will continue to be an important option for those with disabilities, people with luggage and parents with small children or pushchairs.”

The DLR currently carries almost 70 million passengers per year has a 98.6 per cent reliability figure.

Elsewhere on the DLR, work continues on the Stratford International extension which is due to open soon.

Written by George Moore