The DLR is expected to receive 43 new trains to replace 33 existing trains and add extra capacity – though not before 2022. This isn’t breaking news and I’ve been meaning to cover it for a while as it does give context when also looking at minimal expansion plans for the next South Eastern franchise in London.
The reliability rate of early 1990’s DLR stock is poor. The oldest stock on the network are now 25-27 years old with an intended design life of 25 years, and so TfL are planning replacement as failures increase. Most of South Eastern Metro trains also date from around the same era, have very poor reliability compared to most other stock used in Britain, yet there’s no definitive word on their fate in the consultation.
Older DLR stock tends to run about 5000-8000 kilometres per failure, which is much lower than most trains.
SE trains on London Metro routes aren’t much better though at 10000-15000 km per failure. Out of 35 types of trains built since the 1990’s, Southeastern’s are down at 22nd, 25th, 28th, 30th and 31st in the list of reliability.
South West Trains, who have just lost their franchise, have far less failures – in some cases they manage more than 50,000 kilometres between failures, and often with older trains.
The new DLR trains will be walk-through stock which will enhance capacity levels by 10%. Air con and on-board chargers are mooted. June 2022 is the scheduled introductory month – over five years away.
An arrival date of 2022 at the earliest does raise questions of capacity squeezes. Lewisham station has seen sharp growth with another tower revealed recently. Network Rail and the DfT seem to be planning for minimal extra capacity up to 2024 on South Eastern routes through the station.
Crossrail is supposed to mop up a great deal of people from the Woolwich branch. They’ll be a follow up post looking at housing developments from Woolwich Arsenal to Canning Town with large numbers of homes planned along that stretch. People are now starting to move into the 3000-home Royal Wharf development by Pontoon Dock.