Secrets Of The DLR

Just because we’ve done all the tube lines, doesn’t mean we’ve finished uncovering the secrets of the trains in London! Geoff Marshall, the Guinness World Record holder for visiting all stations on the Underground in one day, has been out again — this time riding around on the Docklands Light Railway.

Find out: which station sits right on the meridian line; where trains leave for London in the wrong direction; which stations have platforms that are never used. The DLR may be just 27 years old, but a lot has already changed during its short lifespan.

Written and presented by Geoff Marshall. Camera and direction by James Taylor.

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Article by Geoff Marshall | 34 Articles | View Profile | Twitter

  • Geoff Marshall

    Amazing photos here of how Island Gardens station used to look, elevated up on the viaduct with the ‘Dome’ entrance to match the one at Tower Gateway:

    http://www.onlineweb.com/rail/photos/docklands_light_railway/dlr_operating_1987/dlr_operating_1987.htm

  • http://www.bainser.com Nick Bain

    You should try to get the right hand seat, as the DLR operator can hoof you out of the left hand seat if they need to actual control the train eg when it goes through a tunnel

  • harry_wood

    So why did they build Platform 3?

    • Geoff Marshall

      it was the original northbound platform of the old Mudchute station. it got re-aligned when they extended the station to Lewisham, and left it in place thinking that they might use it…. they don’t!

      • Jon Millwood

        I’ve been on at least three trains that terminated on mudchute platform three. It’s usually to recover from a broken train or signal failure, they terminate at mudchute instead of going through to Lewisham

        • Geoff Marshall

          Yup .. that seems to be the case – recovering from an unusual situation. No regular timetabled trains from that platform tho! :-)

    • Geoff Marshall
      • Greg Wesson

        But the extension to Lewisham was in 1999. The third platform wasn’t put in place until 2008. Why wait nearly 10 years to make it a platform, and then never use it?

        • Jon Millwood

          I think (but may be wrong) they added the third platform at Mudchute as a replacement / alternative to the reversing sidings at Crossharbour. I think it was timed for the new three car trains, as it looks like the reversing sidings at Crossharbour isn’t long enough for three car trains. (but I haven’t measured and checked!)

  • Jac

    As a regular user of the DLR I’m aware that Heron Quays is physically closer to Canary Wharf Junioee line, however you will have to change trains at Canary Wharf DLR to get to Heron Quays so usually actually easier to just walk the extra 50 metres.

    • Geoff Marshall

      not on thru trains from Bank -> Lewisham, it’s only the ones from Stratford that terminate at Canary Wharf. and what if you’re coming NORTH up the line from Lewisham! definitely quicker to do Heron then :-)

    • Rushhour

      Distance may be closer, but in the winter months, it is kinda silly to get off at always windy Heron Quays to walk that distance to Jubilee tube.

  • UKmoose

    Surprised the TBM cutter head at Cutty Sark didn’t get a mention, or is it no longer there?

    • Geoff Marshall

      it’s still there! as ever, had to squeeze everything into 5 mins… cutting room floor.

      • Thomas KW

        Director cut Geoff? Other Quick fact, DLR goes over to just one track between Bow Church and Putting Lane. Then the disused piece of brigde where the used to be track on the bend before West India Quay”

        • Geoff Marshall

          if i ever get permission to to the DVD, that will feature all the Directors outtakes, yes. there are lots of them …

  • Dave K

    Another interesting video Geoff, thanks! Never noticed the meridian line before!

  • Bill McGarry

    also surprised the derailment at Island gardens wasn’t mentioned either when it was still using the old platforms

  • Gillian Lawrence

    loved the video

  • Gillian Lawrence

    when DLR was originally being built was there as much fuss made as current Crossrail?

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/hoosiersands HoosierSands

      No because they used a lot of exisitng-but disused-track.

  • Rushhour

    I think the first and last carriage doors should put a label clearly stating which stations they doors DO NOT OPEN.

  • Ben

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned but the reason the ticket office is closed on a Saturday afternoon at London City Airport is because between 12pm Saturday and 12pm Sunday, there are no planes

  • Annabel Smyth

    Great video, as usual! Love this series – hope the Overground is up next. I’m geeky enough to have visited the old Pudding Mill Lane station on its last day of operation, and the new one on its first….

  • marrie c

    “Terrible Beatles song titles”? What’s wrong with them?!

    Also the Beckton westbound/eastbound thing isn’t exactly a secret for people who use the DLR.

  • Geoff Marshall

    Ok, the video’s been online for over a week now … and NO ONE spotted what i did with the captions on purpose. Honestly, I go to all the effort …

  • SIVANUJAN

    Have you done London Overground?