DLR gets its revamped Tower Gateway terminal back on track
PUBLISHED: 12:10 03 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:08 05 October 2010
COMMUTERS flooded back into the newly-revamped Tower Gateway terminal on London's automatic DLR rail network after yesterday's unannounced reopening which caught passengers by surprise. Those travelling up to the City from East London were surprised to see Tower Gateway' appear on destination boards down the line from Poplar and Beckton without any formal announcement
COMMUTERS flooded back into the newly-revamped Tower Gateway terminal on London's automatic DLR rail network after yesterday's unannounced reopening which caught passengers by surprise.
Early morning commuters travelling up to the City from East London were pleasantly surprised to see 'Tower Gateway' appear on destination boards down the line from Poplar and Beckton without any formal announcement.
Engineers decided at 5am that the station opposite the Tower of London could go back 'on line' after an eight-month refit which included new ticket hall, escalators and longer platforms.
"There was no advance announcement because we didn't want passengers turning up if it wasn't ready yet," explained a Transport for London spokesman an hour after the first morning rush-hour train arrived from Beckton.
"Our engineers wanted to make sure all the software was working after running test trains through the night, then decided at 5am everything was okay-so we decided just reopen without ceremony."
The first driverless train rolled into the single track terminal about 6am ready for the journey out to Poplar and Beckton after a gap of eight months.
The £13 million refurbishment was completed unexpectedly two months ahead of time. The 'horseshoe' double platform allows commuters getting off one side of the train and others getting the other side to speed up turning around the two-carriage trains. The longer platform also means three-carriage trains can run next year.
More trains now run from the DLR's newly-opened extension to Woolwich Arsenal, adding to the frequency of trains from the other City terminal at Bank, as well as a new direct service from Tower Gateway to ExCeL exhibition centre and the University of East London.
Tower Gateway was part of the first DLR section to the Isle of Dogs and Stratford opened by The Queen in 1987.