South Quay DLR Station - Docklands, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.007 W 000° 01.005
30U E 707054 N 5709662
South Quay Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station is in the heart of Docklands, London.
Waymark Code: WMD48P
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/16/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 2

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is one of Britain's great transport success stories. The majority of track is above ground with a tunnel under the Thames and one into Bank Station.

It carries almost 70 million passengers a year with consistently high levels of reliability and passenger satisfaction.

One of the first light rail systems in Britain, with one of the world's most advanced automatic train control systems, the DLR has expanded faster than any other UK railway.

Since opening in 1987 it has extended to Bank, Beckton, Lewisham, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal.

DLR Limited owns the railway's assets. Part of Transport for London, its role is to oversee the operation of the railway and plan development that meets the needs of east London.

DLR Limited works with franchise operator Serco Docklands and three concessionaires - responsible for building and maintaining network extensions. Their aim is to deliver a safe, reliable and cost-effective service for east London residents, commuters and visitors.

Text source: (visit link)


Origins and development:
The docks immediately east of London began to decline in the early 1960s as ship 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. Although land, as at Ludgate Circus and Lewisham, 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 (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 to Tower Hill and to run alongside the Great Eastern lines out of London to a northern terminus at Stratford station where a disused bay platform at the west of the station was available for interchanges with the Central Line and main lines. Stratford was preferred to a Mile End alternative, which would involve 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/Docks, Canary Wharf and the Greenwich Peninsula (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 to complete. The line was opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II on 30 July 1987. The first regular passenger services commenced on 31 August of that year.

Initial system (1987–1990):
The initial system comprised two routes, one from Tower Gateway to Island Gardens and the other from Stratford 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 (13 km) of route, had 15 stations, and were connected by a flat triangular junction near Poplar. 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 as 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, attracted criticism for its poor connections. This is partly because the system was not expected by much of its management to achieve such high 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 taken into the heart of the City of London to Bank underground station through a new tunnel which opened in 1991. This extension diverged from the initial western branch, leaving Tower Gateway 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).

As the Canary Wharf office complex grew, Canary Wharf DLR station 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 to Beckton via Canning Town 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 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. However, the ambitions of operators were supported by politicians in Parliament, including then Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 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 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, a station in the centre of Greenwich, and then surfaced at the main-line Greenwich station 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 on 12 October 2004. On 2 December 2005, a new eastward branch, along the 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 link from King George V to Woolwich Arsenal opened on 10 January 2009, with the terminal station built at or close to the planned future stop on the Crossrail line to Abbey Wood via West India and Royal Docks. Construction began in June 2005, the same month that the contracts were finalised, and the tunnels were completed on 23 July 2007,[29] and officially 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 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. 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.

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Is there other puplic transportation in the area?: Yes

What level is the station?: Above street level

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