diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I love a good TfL press release.
Here's a good one from yesterday.
DLR Bank platforms reopen
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) has confirmed its platforms at Bank station have reopened.
I can confirm this too. I went down into the sub-vault depths at Bank station yesterday and the platforms have definitely reopened.
The station has been closed to upgrade it for three-car operation, and to enhance and improve the platforms, lighting and signage.
It's been closed for five weeks, since just before Christmas, which is a very long time to close a station. Much longer than is actually required to improve a bit of platform and a few signs, in fact. But DLR-folk have also been busy upgrading a key junction further up the line, at the point where services to Bank and Tower Gateway diverge, so the 40-day hiatus has all been worthwhile honest. I can't say I noticed any difference when my train sped through Royal Mint Street Junction track yesterday, but I guess this shows how well all the remodelling and signalling works have gone.
Three-car operation will now be introduced gradually on the Bank-Lewisham route.
That's the over-arching reason for all of this mega-closure hassle. The DLR's a lot busier than it was ever designed to be, so by adding an extra carriage to each train a lot more people can be crammed in. Good job too, because the cattletruck ambience during every rush hour is no fun whatsoever. It's taken nearly three years to extend all the necessary platforms - some of which have been sitting around for ages with big signs saying "Trains do not stop beyond this point (but they will in 2010)", or words to that effect. Now 50%-longer services can (finally) be initiated. Got to be worth a cheer, I reckon.
Jonathan Fox, Director DLR, said: "These upgrades represent the final piece in the three-car jigsaw on the Bank-Lewisham route, so we look forward to seeing the first of our longer trains shortly enter service."
Now that might sound good, but there are two big catches here. Firstly, even though the platforms are now long enough, there are no three-car DLR trains yet. And there's no date for when the first one will appear, nor the second, nor the umpteenth. Could be a while yet. Secondly, these extended trains are only scheduled to be introduced on the Bank-Lewisham line. That's the busiest branch of the DLR's network, but there are currently no plans to introduce 3-car trains to Stratford, Beckton or Woolwich. Only when demand merits more carriages, we're told, which may be soon or may (in these credit crunch times) be never.
Moan 1: Surely demand on the Stratford branch is already high enough during peak periods? It was rammed yesterday afternoon, with homebound commuters having to wait on the platforms because the train was too full. Sounds like that'll be continuing.
Moan 2: We may not be having extended trains on the Stratford branch, but at some stations the automated signalling system thinks we already do. At All Saints some idiot has pre-programmed all southbound trains to stop at the far end of the extended platform, leaving a carriage-sized gap between the back of the train and the foot of the stairs. How much longer will unwitting passengers have to run up the platform when the too-short train pulls in? Could be years, alas.

"Meanwhile I'm confident our Bank passengers will really notice the difference at the new and improved platforms."
Nope, 'fraid not. I think I spotted a new sign out in the passageway that read "DLR" in a much bigger font, but that was all. I was expecting some architectural miracle to have occurred, or some pristine new design feature to have appeared, but there was nothing obvious. Maybe the big change is the orange strip of lighting across the full length of the tracks, or has that always been there, I can't remember. That's the trouble with "Spot The Difference" puzzles, they're especially hard when you can't see the before as well as the after.
"I would like to apologise for the disruption that the Bank closure has caused."
And please, while you're at it, an apology for all the other closures and disruptions that have taken place during the entire Three Carriage Capacity Enhancement Project. But the pain is now over, on the Bank-Lewisham branch at least, and there'll be a 50% bonus to enjoy henceforth and foreverafter. Northern line commuters take heart - your months of endless misery are yet to come, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and one day it'll all have been worthwhile.

I love a good TfL press release.
But I might write about a bad one tomorrow.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream