The DLR has been faithfully serving east and south east London for over 30 years. In that time the network has undergone much change including expansions and new trains. With all new London trains, there's a key question — what happened to the old ones?
The first of the DLR's expansions came in 1991 and with it came an issue.
To get to Bank, the train had to go through tunnels, but the trains — P86 class — didn't meet British safety standards to run in tunnels. There wasn't much need for trains that couldn't serve a major terminus, so poor (not that) old P86s found themselves sold and shipped off to Germany's mining heartland — Essen.
It's fitting when you think about it. The trains moved from an industrial part of London to an industrial part of Germany. Also the trains are German — the P86s were created by Linke-Hoffman-Busche — so they were effectively returning home.
At first they ran in Essen using the DLR's traditional blue and red colours, but in 2005 they changed things up and now they're yellow and blue. There are also P89s running in Essen, another batch of DLR trains that couldn't keep up with all the changes to the network in the early years so were sold off.
See them in action here:
Here's a look at specifically a P86. Well the video is mainly focused on its doors but aren't they so pretty.
Speaking on behalf of London, we hope Essen enjoys our old trains very much. Maybe they even like to sit at the back too.
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