Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
|Type||light metro and light rail/rapid transit|
Stratford International-Woolwich Arsenal
|Daily ridership||300,000 (2012)|
|Opened||31 August 1987|
|Owner||Docklands Light Rail Limited, part of Transport for London|
|Line length||34 km (21 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||third rail, 750 V DC|
|Operating speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
The Docklands Light Railway (the DLR) is an automated light metro or light rail system opened in 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London. It reaches north to Stratford, south to Lewisham, west to Tower Gateway and Bank in the City of London financial district, and east to Beckton, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal.
The system is not entirely unmanned: it uses minimal staffing on board trains and at major interchange stations; the 4 sub-surface stations are staffed to comply with underground station requirements. Similar proposals have been made for the adjacent system, the Tube.
The DLR is operated under a concession awarded by Transport for London to Serco Docklands, part of the Serco Group. The system is owned by Docklands Light Rail Limited, part of the London Rail division of Transport for London. In 2011 the DLR carried over 86 million passengers. It has been extended several times and further extensions are being planned.
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, further east in Essex, rendered them redundant and in 1980 the British government gained control. The Jubilee line of the London Underground opened in 1979 from Stanmore to Charing Cross as the first stage of an intended cross-town tube line beyond Charing Cross to south-east London. Land at Ludgate Circus and Lewisham, had been reserved for the second stage, a station partly constructed in the City and buildings at Canon Street modified, the rising cost and the fact that the low level of development in Docklands then envisaged could not justify the railway, led to the project's indefinite postponement in the early 1980s.
The London Docklands Development Corporation (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 dock railway infrastructure to link the West India Docks to Tower Hill and to run alongside the Great Eastern line out of London to a northern terminus at Stratford, where a disused bay platform at the west of the station was available, for interchange with the Central Line and main lines. Stratford was preferred to the Mile End alternative, which would have involved street running trams and was at variance with the concept of a fully automated railway. The growth brought to Docklands enabled the Jubilee Line to be extended in 1999 to east London by a more southerly route than originally proposed, through Surrey Quays, Canary Wharf and the Greenwich Peninsula (which was the next regeneration area) to Stratford.
The contract for the initial system was awarded to GEC Mowlem in 1984 and the system was constructed from 1985 to 1987 at a cost of £77 million. The line was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 30 July 1987, and passenger services began on 31 August.
Initial system (1987–1990) 
The initial system comprised two routes, from Tower Gateway and Stratford to Island Gardens. Most of these lines are elevated on disused railway viaducts or new concrete viaducts, with some use of disused surface-level railway rights of way between Poplar and Stratford. The trains have always been fully automated and controlled by computer operations and have no driver; a Passenger Service Agent (PSA) on each train, originally referred to as a "Train Captain", is responsible for patrolling the train, checking tickets, making announcements and controlling the doors. PSAs can take control of the train in circumstances including equipment failure and emergencies.
The system was lightweight, with stations designed for trains of only a single articulated vehicle. The three branches totalled 8 miles (13 km), had 15 stations, and were connected by a flat triangular junction near Poplar. Services ran from Tower Gateway to Island Gardens, and from Stratford to Island Gardens; the north side of the junction was used only for access to the depot at Poplar. The stations were mostly of a common design and constructed from standard components. A common feature was a short half-cylindrical glazed blue canopy to provide shelter. All stations were above ground and were generally unstaffed, unlike extension stations built below ground (for example, Cutty Sark (DLR) and Bank) which are required by law to be staffed in case evacuation is needed.
First stage extensions (1991–1994) 
The initial system had a relatively low capacity, but the Docklands area very quickly developed into a major financial centre and employment zone, increasing the traffic on the fledgling network. In particular Tower Gateway, at the edge of the City of London, attracted criticism for its poor connections (it did not physically connect with Tower Hill or Fenchurch Street, the two closest and most useful potential connections). The criticism was partly because the system experienced higher-than-expected usage. Plans were developed before the system opened to extend it to Bank in the west, and Beckton in the east. All stations and trains were extended to two-unit length, and the system was expanded into the heart of the City of London to Bank through a tunnel, opening in 1991. This extension diverged from the initial western branch, leaving Tower Gateway on a stub. The original trains, not suitable for use underground, were operated for a time on the above-ground sections only, and later became obsolete (see the Rolling Stock section below, and the main article Docklands Light Railway rolling stock).
As the Canary Wharf office complex grew, Canary Wharf station was redeveloped from a small wayside station to a large one with six platforms serving three tracks and a large overall roof, fully integrated into the malls below the office towers. The original DLR station was not completed and was dismantled before the line 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 to Beckton via Canning Town transport interchange, 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 by a grade-separated 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 between the Stratford and Beckton lines.
Second stage extensions (1996–1999) 
Early in the DLR operation, Lewisham London Borough Council commissioned a feasibility study into extending the DLR under the River Thames. This led the council to advocate an extension to Greenwich, Deptford 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 proposed in the 1980s. The ambitions of the operators were supported by politicians in Parliament, including Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and Lord Whitty, and by 1996 construction work on the line had begun.
On 3 December 1999 the Lewisham extension opened. It left the 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 viaduct, and entered a tunnel following the line of the viaduct to a shallow subsurface station at Island Gardens, accessed by stairs or a lift. The line crossed under the Thames to Cutty Sark in the centre of Greenwich, and surfaced at the main-line Greenwich station with cross-platform interchange between the northbound DLR track and the city-bound main line. The line snaked on a concrete viaduct to Deptford Bridge station, before descending to Elverson Road station at street level, close to Lewisham town centre; terminating in two platforms between and below the main-line platforms at Lewisham railway station, which is near the shopping centre, with buses stopping outside the station. The Lewisham extension quickly proved profitable.
Third stage extensions and enhancements (2004–2009) 
The next series of developments was aided by a five-year programme of investment for public transport across London that was unveiled by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone on 12 October 2004. On 2 December 2005, an eastward branch along the approximate route of the former Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway on the southern side of the Royal Docks complex opened from Canning Town to King George V via London City Airport.
A further extension from King George V to Woolwich Arsenal opened on 10 January 2009, with the terminal station providing interchange with the North Kent main line, close to the planned future stop on the Crossrail line to Abbey Wood via West India and Royal Docks, met by Private Finance Initiative funding. Construction began in June 2005, the same month that the contracts were finalised, and the tunnels were completed on 23 July 2007, and formally opened by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London 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 departing (Spanish solution). The station reopened on 2 March 2009.
As part of an upgrade to allow three-car trains, strengthening work was necessary at the Delta Junction north of West India Quay. It was decided to include this in a plan for further grade-separation to eliminate the conflict between services to Stratford and from Bank. A new timetable was introduced, with improved frequencies at peak hours. The new grade-separated route from Bank to Canary Wharf is used throughout the day, bypassing West India Quay station until mid-evening. 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.
Stratford International to Canning Town Extension (2011) 
In addition to the three-car station extensions, part of which was funded from the 2012 Olympics budget, a further line was opened from Canning Town to Stratford and Stratford International, along the former North London Line of the national rail system, with additional, more closely spaced stations. It 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 the Bank/Poplar direction and the Stratford International direction to operate to either of the eastern termini at Beckton and Woolwich Arsenal. There are through trains between all these points, with different patterns at different times of the day. The Stratford International extension suffered some delay in opening, being completed in August 2011. It provided a direct link between two of the major Olympics locations: the Stadium and Park at Stratford and the ExCeL adjacent to Custom House station on the Beckton line.
Current system 
The DLR is 25 miles (40 km) long, with 45 stations. There are six branches: to Lewisham in the south, Stratford and Stratford International in the north, Beckton and Woolwich Arsenal in the east, and Central London in the west, splitting to Bank and Tower Gateway. Although the layout allows many different routes, at present the following are operated in normal service:
- Stratford to Lewisham (Monday – Friday morning peak only)
- Stratford to Canary Wharf
- Bank to Lewisham
- Bank to Woolwich Arsenal
- Tower Gateway to Beckton
- Stratford International to Woolwich Arsenal (weekday peak hours only)
- Stratford International to Beckton (weekday off peak hours and weekends)
There is capability for an additional shuttle from Canning Town to Prince Regent when exhibitions are in progress at the ExCeL exhibition centre, enhancing the normal service.
At terminal stations trains reverse direction in the terminal platforms, except at Bank where there is a reversing headshunt beyond the station. Many peak-hour trains on the Lewisham route from Stratford turn back at Canary Wharf. During service disruption or planned engineering work, trains can also turn back at Crossharbour and Mudchute stations. Trains serve every station on the route, before mid-evening when trains from Bank to Lewisham do not call at West India Quay station because they are routed along the flyunder track to avoid junction conflicts. During long-term works for extension projects, 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, Greenwich and West Ham.
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 level access for passengers with wheelchairs or pushchairs.
Most stations are of a modular design dating back to the initial system, extended and improved. This design has two side platforms, each with separate access from the street, and platform canopies, although few examples remain of the original, distinctive rounded roof design. Stations are unstaffed, except the underground stations at Bank, Island Gardens, Cutty Sark and Woolwich Arsenal for safety reasons, a few of the busier interchange stations, and City Airport, which has a ticket office for passengers unfamiliar with the system. Canning Town, Custom House and Prince Regent are normally staffed on the platform whenever there is a significant exhibition at the ExCeL exhibition centre.
On 3 July 2007, DLR officially launched an art programme called DLR Art, similar to that on the London Underground, 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 
The DLR is part of the London fare zone system, and Travelcards that cover the appropriate 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 the DLR and City Cruises river boats. Oyster pay-as-you-go 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 entering the platform. There are no ticket barriers at DLR-only stations, and correct ticketing is enforced by on-train checks by the PSA. Passengers found travelling without a correct ticket, and pay-as-you-go Oyster users who have failed to touch in at the start of the journey, may be liable to an £80 penalty fare or face prosecution for fare evasion. There are barriers at Bank, Canning Town, Woolwich Arsenal, West Ham and Stratford, where the DLR platforms are within the barrier lines of a London Underground or National Rail station.
Within a year of launch, annual passenger numbers were 17 million. This increased to 64 million in 2009 and more than 80 million in 2011. 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. Due to the success of the DLR, proposals for similar systems elsewhere have emerged. The North and West London Light Railway is one such plan, for an orbital railway serving the other side of London.
The DLR has been successful, as have other light rail 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.
The only bicycles allowed on DLR trains are folding ones. One incident in 2007 involved a station manager refusing to allow a train to leave before several triathlon competitors left the vehicle. DLR says this is because if evacuation of a train is required, they would slow down the process. 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 electric multiple units. Each car has four doors on each side, and two or three cars make up a train. There are no driver's cabs because normal operations are automated. 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 a forward (or rear) view for passengers. The top speed is 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph).
Despite having high floors and being highly automated, the cars are derived from a German light-rail design intended for street running. All the cars look similar but there have been several different types, some still in service, others sold to other operators. New B2007 units were purchased from Bombardier in 2005 and delivered between 2007 and 2010.
There are two operating and maintenance depots. The first is at Poplar, but it is now secondary to the larger site at Beckton, built on the site of the Beckton Gas Works in 1996. Rolling stock is kept at both locations, which have maintenance workshops and extensive open-air carriage sidings. The Poplar depot, which is also the operating headquarters of Docklands Light Railway Limited and Serco Docklands, houses diesel locomotives used for track maintenance. Poplar depot is alongside the north side of the Stratford line east of the station, and 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 based on a fixed-block technology developed by GEC-General Signal and General Railway Signal. This was replaced in 1994 with a moving-block TBTC (Transmission Based Train Control) system developed by Alcatel, called SelTrac. The SelTrac system was bought by Thales in 2007 and updates are provided by Thales Rail Signalling Solutions. The same technology is used for other rapid transit systems including Vancouver's SkyTrain, Toronto's SRT, San Francisco's Municipal Railway (MUNI) and Hong Kong's MTR. The SelTrac S40 system is being adopted by the Jubilee line and Northern line on London Underground. 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 and communication is lost between the VOBC and VCC, SMC, the train stops until it is authorised to move again. If the whole system fails the train can run in restricted manual at 12 miles per hour (19 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.
Current developments 
With the development of the eastern Docklands as part of the Thames Gateway initiative and London’s staging of the 2012 Summer Olympics, 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 system has been increased by upgrading it to allow running of 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 built for single-car operation, and the upgrade required both strengthening viaducts to take heavier trains and lengthening many pre-extension platforms which were not originally built to take three-car trains. The extra capacity was deemed to be useful for the 2012 Summer Olympics, which increased the use of London's transport network. The main contractor for the expansion and alteration works is Taylor Woodrow.
Elverson Road, Pudding Mill Lane (one platform Stratford-bound), Royal Albert, Gallions Reach and Cutty Sark have not been extended for three-car trains; such extension may be impossible in some cases. Selective door operation is used, with emergency walkways in case a door fails to remain shut. For instance Cutty Sark station 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 has been built 200 metres (660 ft) east of the former location as nearby curves precluded lengthening. Mudchute now has a third platform and all its platforms have full-length canopies. Tower Gateway was closed until March 2009 and re-opened as a single-track three-car terminus with two platforms, one for boarding and the other for alighting.
For this upgrade DLR purchased an additional 31 cars compatible with existing rolling stock. 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 runs three-car trains exclusively. They started running on the Beckton branch on 9 May 2011. Stratford to Lewisham and Bank to Woolwich Arsenal services now operate as three-car trains; 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, taking over the North London Line from Canning Town to Stratford, links the Docklands area with domestic high-speed services on High Speed 1. It was an important part of transport improvements for the 2012 Olympic Games, much of which were 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 31 August 2011.
Station names in bold are former North London Line stations.
New stations for DLR are:
- Canning Town
- Star Lane
- West Ham
- Abbey Road
- Stratford High Street (on the site of the former Stratford Market)
- Stratford low level
- Stratford International
From Canning Town to Stratford low level the Stratford International extension runs parallel to the London Underground Jubilee line. As well as providing an interchange with the adjacent Jubilee line stations, there are 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 (TWA) application, Royal Victoria 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 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 on to a new viaduct to be built further south. This will include a replacement station. The current station stands 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.
Proposed developments 
Dagenham Dock extension 
- Status – Not currently being developed
This proposed extension from Gallions Reach to Dagenham Dock 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, 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' plan is to work. As shown in DLR's first consultation leaflet, there are proposals for the DLR to extend further than Dagenham Dock, possibly to Dagenham Heathway or Rainham, or even to the other side of the Thames again, including one or two entirely new stations at Thamesmead, which the area desperately needs, and then onto Abbey Wood, for North Kent Line services to Dartford and The Medway Towns, as well as, for future Crossrail connections.
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 while 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 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
Thames Wharf has been the planned name for two separate DLR stations. In 1994 the proposed location was between Canning Town and Royal Victoria. Subsequently the name was transferred to a potential future development on the London City Airport extension between Canning Town and West Silvertown, due west of the western end of Royal Victoria Dock. 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, 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 has been identified as a possible additional station on the London City Airport branch. The Connaught Tunnel 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 to 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 extensions 
- Status – Proposed – 2006
In February 2006 a proposal to extend the DLR to Charing Cross station from Bank 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 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 Victoria station will be investigated.
While not confirmed, it is probable that the Charing Cross scheme would also use the existing overrun tunnels between the Charing Cross Jubilee platforms and a location slightly to the west of Aldwych. 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 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 just one interchange between the DLR and the central portion of Underground, and the difficult journeys faced by passengers from Kent and South Coast between their rail termini and the DLR. Intermediate stations would be at City Thameslink/Ludgate Circus and Aldwych station, which was intended for future connection with the proposed but now abandoned Cross River Tram.
Euston/St Pancras extension 
- Status – Proposed
Recent strategy documents have proposed a DLR extension to Euston and St Pancras. Transport for London have considered driving a line from City Thameslink via Holborn north to the rail termini. 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 and provide another metro line to serve the High Speed line into Euston.
Lewisham to Catford extension 
- Status – Proposed – 2006
This possible extension was considered during the latest Horizon Study. The route would follow the Southeastern line and terminate between Catford and Catford Bridge stations. It has been seen as attractive to the district, as has the current terminus at Lewisham, built in an earlier extension. A map published in 2010 by Transport for London suggests that a further extension from Catford to Forest Hill has also been considered.
However, early plans showed problems due to Lewisham 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 to link it up with the Tramlink system. However, the way in which Lewisham station was built impedes this possible extension and it would prove costly to redevelop.
Lewisham to Bromley North extension 
- Status – Proposed – 2012
Another proposal involving an extension south of Lewisham envisages driving a DLR route to Bromley North by taking over the Bromley North Line, a short National Rail branch line which has no direct services to London. The scheme being considered by Transport for London and the London Borough of Bromley would convert the branch line to DLR operation. Although Lewisham Council planned to re-route the A20 road and redevelop the area south of Lewisham DLR station, the plans published in 2012 have no safeguarded route for any DLR extension, making any continuation of the line unlikely.
Accidents and incidents 
Overrun of station buffers 
On 10 March 1987, before the railway opened, a test train crashed through station buffer stops at the original high-level terminus Island Gardens 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 bridge during morning rush hour, requiring a shutdown of the entire system and evacuation of 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 blew up a lorry under a bridge near South Quay, killing two people and injuring many others. The blast caused £85 million of damage and marked an end to the IRA ceasefire. Significant disruption was caused and a train was stranded at Island Gardens, unable to move until the track was rebuilt.
Prior to 1997 the DLR was a wholly owned subsidiary of London Regional Transport. In 1992 it was transferred to the London Docklands Development Corporation, sponsored by the Department of Environment.
The DLR infrastructure is owned by Docklands Light Rail Limited, part of the London Rail division of Transport for London, which also manages London Overground, London Tramlink and Crossrail. The first concession was awarded to Serco Docklands Limited for seven years with operations commencing in April 1997. A management buyout backed by Serco, management later sold their shares to Serco. A two-year extension was granted in 2002.
Three recent extensions – Lewisham, City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal – were designed, financed, built and maintained by private companies: City Greenwich Lewisham (CGL) Rail, City Airport Rail Enterprises (CARE) and Woolwich Arsenal Rail Enterprises (WARE). However in 2011, Transport Trading Limited (a subsidiary of Transport for London) purchased the companies responsible for the City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal extensions leaving only the Lewisham extension under private ownership.
See also 
- List of Docklands Light Railway stations
- List of tram and light-rail transit systems
- Rail transport in the United Kingdom
- Transport in London (overview)
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