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DLR station shunted' down track to take on longer trains

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:08 05 October 2010

The new South Quay DLR station that opened today

The new South Quay DLR station that opened today

ENGINEERS have shunted a whole DLR station 120 yards down the track without disrupting train services even once. The platforms at South Quay were too close to a sharp bend turning north to Canary Wharf for the platforms to be extended to take longer trains

By Mike Brooke

ENGINEERS have shunted a whole DLR station 120 yards down the track without disrupting train services even once.

The platforms at South Quay were too close to a sharp bend turning north to Heron Quays and Canary Wharf for the platforms to be extended to take three-car trains.

So engineers built a new station further towards Crossharbour on the Isle of Dogs and got it ready over the weekend.

New engineering techniques meant the replacement was built without the line or the old station having to shut. Complex supporting structures were built either side of the track, allowing work to go on within inches of the live rails.

The old South Quay closed on Friday evening and the new station opened for this-morning's rush-hour (pictured). The whole operation including building a new station cost £30 million. Now the old platforms are to be demolished.

The DLR runs two-car trains which can't cope with what was an unexpected surge in passengers since the new Canary Wharf business district was finished and City Airport opened.

The 2012 Olympics is almost certain to add passenger volumes, say transport planners, so platforms are being extended to take three-car trains from 2011, each consisting of three sets of articulated 'twin' carriages, to increase passenger volume by half as much again.

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