Like some infrastructural cannibal, Crossrail continues to chew up and spit out other bits of London’s transport network. It’s latest victim is Pudding Mill Lane station on the DLR, which is to be completely rebuilt.
The station, the closest to the Olympic Park (albeit one that will be closed during the Games), has the misfortune of being sited at the point where the eastern spur of the Crossrail tunnel will emerge from the ground and connect with the main line toward Shenfield. Hence the need to demolish it.
The new station will sit due south, between the River Lea and City Mill River, and will offer step-free access and provision for longer trains. Construction work will begin after the Olympics, and passengers will still be able to use the existing station until the new one is ready in 2013.
Odd though it may seem that a station built only 15 years ago needs to be demolished, it is a reflection of several unforseen factors, such as the rapid growth in use of the DLR, the Olympics, and of course Crossrail itself, rather than the short-sightedness of the original planners. A similar strategy was employed in 2009 when South Quay station was entirely re-built to accommodate longer three-car trains on the DLR.
In other DLR news: we’re still waiting to hear when the new extension from Stratford International to Canning Town, which was due to be ready last year, will open. However, a ‘safety case’ operation involving members of the public, in which emergency and evacuation procedures are likely to be tested, is scheduled for August 7th; hopefully after that we’ll have a better idea.