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DLR terminal suddenly reopens—taking passengers by surprise

PUBLISHED: 08:51 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:08 05 October 2010

THE newly-revamped Tower Gateway terminal on London's automatic DLR rail network suddenly reopened this morning—without telling anyone. Early morning commuters travelling up to the City from East London were suddenly surprised to see Tower Gateway' appear on destination boards down the line from Poplar and Beckton without any formal announcement

By Mike Brooke

THE newly-revamped Tower Gateway terminal on London’s automatic DLR rail network suddenly reopened this morning—without telling anyone.

Early morning commuters 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.

Engineers decided at 5am 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 this morning.

“Our engineers wanted to make sure all the control software was working after running test trains through the night, then said at 5am everything was okay—so we decided not to wait and just reopen without ceremony.”

EIGHT-MONTH WAIT

The first driverless train rolling 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 schedule. The horseshoe’ double platform allows commuters getting off one side of the train and others getting the other side to speed up the time it takes for the two-carriage trains to turn round. The longer platform also means three-carriage trains can operate from Tower Gateway from next year.

More trains can 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 station, 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.

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