DLRE opens for service!

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traveller1030

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Not sure if I'm the first member of this board to go down there, but I did so at about 6:30am this morning. My impressions of the trip, shamelessly nicked from 'another forum', were as follows:

As usual the DLR was at it's efficient self, but that's no surprise on any system at that time on a Saturday morning - a brief 5 minute wait at Poplar and away we go.

Canning Town - West Silvertown: the first thing to note is that the SELTRAC indicator is pointing straight up, moving onto the fresh track to bash. The points are a little rough-riding in the direction of KGV, and you do get shaken about a bit by the hunting of the unit. Then we move on to a left-right kink that is taken at speed, was a little taken aback with the level of G on the banked turns (sitting in the front-left seat, my shoulder was jabbed into the window frame, watch for that!), compared to the relatively sedate pace of traversing Greenwich NR to Deptford Bridge over on the Lewisham section, these curves were maybe a little less shallow, but not much - however that section instantly came to mind. A short squirt into the left-hand platform, and you encounter what is pretty much the uniform design for all the stations apart from King George V. A curved metal lattice holding white panels or small, slim windows. Somebody must have tipped them off about the younger residents of Silvertown, and thought about the design. My first impressions were 'cheapo', but I like the shape of the platform-covering structure, and instead came to the conclusion that they're quite elegant and simple.

West Silvertown - Pontoon Dock: there isn't anything quite like riding the DLR in darkness, as you see the swathes of light from various directions, particularly concentrated on Canary Wharf - the standout bit of the trip came here, with a beautiful sight of the Thames Barrier to your right, lit up with its orange lights.

Pontoon Dock - London City Airport: lovely views of the Connaught bridge on the left-hand side combined with the lights of the runway and taxiways of LCY was a feast for the eyes - I can only imagine what it's like to be sitting on the DLR when a plane's taking off or landing, but I assure you it'll be pretty spectacular. Pulling into the first island platform of the extension, the same simple, elegant station design as WSI and POD is apparent, the difference here being a waiting room on the platform to protect from what I'd imagine would be quite chilly winds at times, is this a first for the Docklands? Escalators, taking into account people will be carrying luggage I assume, are used to take you down to the terminal across the road. It was here I also noticed a couple of private security guards, seems like they're in use on the extension. It doesn't make me feel any safer, but hey, it's a job to them, and if it floats your boat, then more power to you.

London City Airport - King George V: A relatively simple descent to just above ground level brings you to the middle of what I believe is called the Pier Estate in North Woolwich. This is what the Docklands does so well, links parts of town that were decaying and run down - I imagine the prices of the ex-council flats round there have gone through the roof. Say hello to a couple of security guards again, providing they're not going to hound photographers then as I said before I'm pretty neutral about their presence, but it is noticeable. Not a spectuacularly-designed station, masses of concrete is evident. It is of course only a staging post until the final destination of Woolwich Arsenal is reached, but as they say, it's 'fit for purpose'.

To sum up, from Canning Town to King George V, look left if you want to see the 'new' and look right if you want to see the 'old' in this part of London (I forgot to mention Tate and Lyles along with the other industry by the banks of the river). That's about the most succinct summing up I can think of of the journey. Parallels to think about, and this line serves up plenty of them.

Who needs photos? :lol:
 

traveller1030

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The Royal Borough of the East End
Sure is, a 10-min service, with the exception of the peak pattern which, if I've worked it out correctly, offers a 7/8-min service with destinations alternating between Canning Town and Bank. I assume the number of through trains is reduced because of lack of capacity on the western section, Bank already receiving a quite intensive 5-min service IIRC, and I guess that figure goes down to about 3-4 factoring in the new services.
 

Galvanize

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joea1 said:
I did that branch today, it was pretty cool. Lots of gradients, tight curves and LU style time boards!

London City Airport station is going to have a ticket office by the looks of things. At the ticket office, free gifts were issueed including watches, leaflets and balloons.
 

Guinness

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Have DLR ordered additional trains for this? Or have they improved the Stock Maintenance or something?
 
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Tom

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Additional trains have been ordered from Bombardier, there is an article in the latest 'Modern Railways'.
 

traveller1030

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Cockfosters said:
Is there no capacity at, say, Tower to reverse the Canning trains?

No, because you aren't factoring in the Beckton trains using that section of line between Canning Town and Poplar... as I see it in my mind's eye, would create more conflicts than it's worth. I guess the ultimate agenda at the peaks is those Canning services extended to Stratford International, but then again, that would probably lead to a re-doing of the whole timetable in the area.
 

Guinness

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tubechallenger said:
Additional trains have been ordered from Bombardier, there is an article in the latest 'Modern Railways'.

Without having to go all the way into Town to buy it, could you sum it up Tom? :)
 
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Tom

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24 2-car trains of an articulated build have been ordered by DLRL for use on the new Canning Town extensions, when used, these trains will form extra cars on Bank - Lewisham trains in order to go ahead with the 3-car plan at all the stations in that direction. The trains carried down on the Bank branch will then form the King George V - Stratford International service. The new trains are fully compatible with the old ones.
 
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