To serve the new international station at Stratford, the DLR would take over North London Line services between Canning Town and Stratford.
Under this scheme, North London Line (NLL) services will be discontinued from December 2006 south of Stratford.
DLR services will replace the NLL services and would run from Canning Town, serving new stations at Star Lane (formerly designated Cody Road), Abbey Road and Stratford High Street (formerly designated Stratford Market) in addition to the existing stations at West Ham and Stratford (Regional).
A station used to exist at Stratford Market. Construction of the Jubilee Line has meant that there is not enough space to rebuild platforms here. Instead, the new Stratford Market station will be built further north, with access from Bridge Road and Burford Road.
At Stratford Regional (the station serving all existing routes, as opposed to the forthcoming International station), the DLR will use the current NLL low-level platforms adjacent to the Jubilee line, and will then run alongside the current NLL to the western end of Stratford International station, which is located some distance from the Regional station.
There is potential for this route to be further extended from Stratford International to Temple Mills in the future, should new developments warrant it.
The NLL low-level platforms are curved; to comply with accessibility rules, the DLR will use the southern end of the platforms with an extension of 10-15m.
The NLL will be be relocated to the high-level Lea Valley platforms. Unfortunately this means that interchange between the NLL and the new DLR extension will not be particularly easy.
Tracks and junctions
At the southern end, the Jubilee line alignment at Canning Town prevents trains crossing from the current DLR route to the NLL track north of the station. Instead, the DLR will take over the current NLL platforms, meaning there will be two separate DLR island platforms at Canning Town (one at high level above the Jubilee platforms, and the other at ground level adjacent to them).
A complex junction will be constructed southeast of Canning Town, just beyond the Jubilee line tunnel portal, which will allow movements between all four arms (Stratford Int'l, Poplar, Beckton and Woolwich).
A new track arrangement for the Woolwich branch junction will allow trains from Woolwich to reverse in the eastbound elevated platform at Canning Town without interrupting westbound services from Beckton towards Poplar. It will also be possible for trains from Beckton to reverse in the westbound elevated platform.
At Royal Victoria, the current eastbound platform will be enlarged into an island platform, creating three platforms in total. The new, northern face will become the main eastbound platform, and the existing southern face will become a bidirectional platform where trains can either carry on to Beckton or reverse back towards either Stratford or Poplar.
Wrong-line working between Canning Town and Royal Victoria will be possible on the eastbound Poplar track and the westbound Stratford track.
10tph will serve the new branch in the peaks, with 5tph running to Woolwich Arsenal via City Airport, and 5tph to Beckton. This will maintain a direct link between Stratford & ExCeL at Custom House and provide a new direct link between Stratford and Woolwich Arsenal, both of which are important to the Olympic bid.
DLR quote journey times as 2 minutes between Stratford (Regional) and Stratford International, 10 minutes between Canning Town and Stratford International, and 20 minutes between Woolwich Arsenal and Stratford International. This means the DLR service would only be slightly slower than the current Jubilee line service between Canning Town and Stratford (which takes 7 minutes).
Why not extend the existing Stratford branch?
The existing Stratford branch is in an extremely awkward place. It was constructed cheaply to come within the original £87m budget for the DLR; this involved building alongside the line out of Liverpool St, and using a disused bay platform at Stratford. Extending to Stratford International would involve disruptive tunnelling work and a new station at Stratford Regional; the NLL takeover plan uses the NLL platforms (and the NLL would be diverted to the existing Lea Valley line platforms).
Instead, the current DLR platform at Stratford will be moved and another platform will be added.
DLR have submitted their proposal for their takeover of the North London Line between Canning Town and Stratford for approval under the Transport and Works Act. A decision should be received by late 2006.
The TfL Board has approved plans for the DLR to make a Transport & Works Act (TWA) Order for the construction of the Canning Town - Stratford International extension. DLR will now submit detailed proposals for Government approval. TfL hope to have the extension ready by 2009.
The government has given its support to the conversion of the North London Line between Stratford and Canning Town to DLR operation, with DLR providing a frequent local service on this route along with an extension to Stratford's new International station.
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