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First new DLR train arrives in London, expanded order due imminently

CAF's first new Inneo train train for the DLR arrived in January. A further 11 should be completed by April and the contract for another 11 is expected to be confirmed shortly. TfL

The first new CAF Inneo train for London’s Docklands Light Railway has arrived at the system’s Beckton depot, two months ahead of schedule. Transport for London (TfL) reports that 12 trains from the base order for 43, placed in June 2019, will have been completed by April. They are due to enter service from 2024.

TfL’s contract with the Spanish manufacturer is worth GBP345m (EUR395m), with the new five-car units replacing 33 of the DLR’s B90-B92 cars, built in 1991-95, by 2026. Each of the new 86.7m walk-through sets can accommodate 793 passengers, although less seating is provided compared to existing stock due to a new longitudinal internal layout.

Testing of the new CAF stock is taking place in Spain, where each train has to complete 20 000km (12 400 miles) of incident-free running. The design includes a new turquoise/white livery, replacing the familiar red/blue colourscheme carried since the network’s 1987 opening.

In related news, TfL has received confirmation from the UK Government of its intention to fund the purchase of a further 11 trains under its Housing Infrastructure Fund. These additional units will be used to increase frequencies on the network and unlock further housing growth in the Royal Docks and Isle of Dogs areas. The option is expected to be confirmed in in February.

The DLR rolling stock replacement programme includes expansion of the Beckton depot, traction power and signalling upgrades, and enhanced customer information systems. Preparatory works are underway and a contract for construction of the new maintenance facility and additional sidings is expected later in the year.

The DLR’s second depot opened on the site of the former Beckton Gasworks in 1994; now responsible for all rolling stock works, it is accessed via a spur at Gallions Reach. It has been extended three times as the system has grown, most recently as part of a 2007-11 project in preparation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games that coincided with fleet expansion.