Transport for London’s plan to introduce new DLR trains between 2022 and 2024 will take a step forward if proposals to expand Beckton Depot are approved next week.
The depot is being expanded to take 10 extra trains. 43 new trains are being ordered with 33 to replace existing stock and 10 in addition.
New trains will have walk-through air-conditioning and an increase in capacity.
Whether the first trains are running in public in 2022 is an unknown right now. TfL only commit to testing by then, and given the problems with new trains on Crossrail and London Overground it’s best to be cautious.
The Beckton branch is expected to see the first additional trains leaving capacity upgrades for Woolwich and Lewisham branches to come later.
This led TfL to request some planned Lewisham towers be delayed.
Another intriguing point in the planning documents is the mention of an extension north of the depot to Beckton retail park then onto Thamesmead, instead of across any future bridge which would be located to the south.
There have been proposals and draft plans to build new homes on Beckton retail park before. Having a Thamesmead extension routed through there would slow down journey times from Thamesmead to popular destinations such as Canary Wharf (Poplar) and Bank. Residents would still be quicker heading to Abbey Wood for Crossrail, which would reach Canary Wharf in around 10 minutes and the City in 17.