diamond geezer

 Sunday, February 01, 2015

The timetable for off-peak DLR services gets a bit of a tweak tomorrow. TfL have announced four headline changes, two of which are bona fide good news.

Twice as many trains between Bank and Lewisham from 21:00 to 23:30 Monday to Friday with a train every 5 minutes
Longer 3-carriage DLR trains at weekends between Stratford and Canary Wharf, increasing capacity by half

And the other two are probably good, but maybe not entirely.

Twice as many trains between Woolwich Arsenal and Canning Town during off-peak hours and at weekends (with a train every 4-5 minutes)
Beckton - Stratford International service will be replaced with a Beckton - West Ham service operating from 10:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday and from 08:30 Saturdays and 10:30 Sundays to 19:30

I'm trying to work out precisely what this means, but the DLR section of the TfL website is remarkably coy about revealing where its trains go. Gone are the days when the service pattern was explicitly stated, instead there's now a lot more emphasis on using the Journey Planner or simply turning up. As for the new DLR timetables page, I'm sure the coding team are well chuffed at producing mobile-friendly bespoke station to station hour by hour results, but if it's old school overview timetables you seek, they've long been sacrificed in the name of dumbing-down. So, anyway...

Up until tomorrow's timetabling update, trains from Stratford International went to Woolwich Arsenal during peak hours but to Beckton off-peak and at weekends. That's now changing, if I've got this right, so that trains from Stratford International will only go to Woolwich Arsenal.

Viewed in the opposite direction, trains from Woolwich Arsenal will now alternate (approximately every five minutes) to Bank and to Stratford International. That's a regular service to Westfield all day, which is not the case at present, especially at weekends. Meanwhile off-peak trains from Beckton will also alternate (approximately every five minutes), one towards Tower Gateway and one up the Stratford branch. But no train from Beckton will ever go as far as Stratford International, they'll terminate early at West Ham where passengers will either have to wait eight minutes for the next DLR service or cross to the Jubilee line instead. That's the downside in the new timetable, I assume because not enough trains are available to run a full service to Stratford.

...or something, because the DLR 's information architects don't believe in being 100% transparent. If you understand things differently, or better, let me know.

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