Docklands Light Railway: The Future

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
Docklands Light Railway: The Future

Map with Bank - Charing Cross line by Gareth Edwards
The transport obsessives at London Reconnections have been poring through the history of once-mooted transport initiatives. Using the Freedom of Information Act, they've got their hands on the DLR Horizon 2020 document, which was commissioned in 2005 to lay out possible extension plans for the network in the years between 2012 and 2020. Purely in the spirit of 'what-if', they've re-printed some of the ideas considered.

A synposis of all the proposed routes can be found here, but some of the key ones are:

  • An extension from Bank to Charing Cross, using the mothballed Jubilee Line platforms as a terminus, with a stop at City Thameslink and the long-closed Aldwych station
  • A line from Bank to Barbican, utilising the redundant Thameslink platforms at Moorgate and Farringdon
  • A branch westward from Greenwich to New Cross via Canada Water, providing a link to the Jubilee line and London Overground
  • A Bow Church - Hackney Central line, via Victoria Park
  • A line northward from Stratford - Tottenham Hale via the Lea Valley.
  • For the sake of completion, the other lines examined are Woolwich - Thamesmead, All Saints - Crossharbour, the Dagenham Dock extension (officially axed by Boris last year), Lewisham - Catford, and Bank - Bishopsgate via Liverpool Street, terminating at Shoreditch High Street station.

    What chance do any of these projects have of becoming reality? Not much, at least in the near future: the economic ground beneath our feet has shifted since the report was commissioned, and current funding for the DLR is going towards things like the new stations on the extension from Canning Town to Stratford and adding a third car onto services between Bank and Lewisham. And that's not even considering the complexities TfL's map-makers would have in packing all those additional lines in around Bank: poor Harry Beck would be twirling in his grave.

    DLR Horizon 2020 is no longer part of official TfL strategy, so they'll remain little more than pipe dreams until a future Mayor in a less restrictive financial climate looks at them anew.

    Last Updated 08 October 2009