February 3rd 2011
It seems like only yesterday since the DLR opened but it was actually back in 1987, with the concept originating in 1984. In the intervening period, the network has seen unprecedented growth that at times has led it almost to become a victim of its own success. So says Martin Collett, the DLR’s Chief Engineer, who gave a fascinating talk to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) recently.
The railway has experienced turbulent times in its short history with many events contributing to it now being a very different network in both size and operation. The last two years has, in particular, seen major upgrading – firstly to cater for increased traffic levels and secondly to be a main carrier of people to and from the Olympic Games. Most of this work is now complete.
Expanding the network
DLR was first built to assist mobility in the creation of the London Docklands area as a business centre. It was effectively conceived as an upmarket tramway with single vehicles operating under automatic control. The original layout was a three-pronged star, with Poplar at its centre, Tower Gateway to the west, Stratford in the north and Island Gardens, on the north bank of the Thames, to the south.