Light rail and trams

01.02.06

Woolwich Arsenal extension moves forward

Work has begun on the tunnelling that will form part of the 2.5km Woolwich Arsenal extension on the Dockland Light Railway.

As part of the preparatory work, a 540 tonne boring machine was lowered into a launch chamber in North Woolwich, in readiness for the construction of the rail link. The actual tunnelling work is set to begin in April and will take 15 months to complete.

The £180m extension forms a key part of Transport for London’s (TfL) five-year £10bn investment programme. It is being designed and constructed by AMEC for Woolwich Arsenal Rail Enterprises (WARE), a consortium of AMEC and the Royal Bank of Scotland, and is set to open for services in 2009.

Jonathan Fox, Director, Dockland Light Railway, said: “The DLR’s most recent extension, to London City Airport, was completed by AMEC ahead of schedule and on budget; we are confident Woolwich Arsenal will be equally successful.”

Docklands Light Railway Ltd earlier this month awarded another franchise to Serco Limited (Serco) to continue to operate, maintain and support the Docklands Light Railway for the next seven years. The company was originally awarded the DLR franchise on a seven-year contract from April 1997, which was extended by two years to cover the opening of the London City Airport extension. The new £400m franchise is to begin in May 2006.

Serco, who beat three other consortia (First Carillion Ltd, Keolis/Balfour Beatty and Transdev RATP) in the franchise bid, will be responsible for all aspects of railway maintenance, other than the Lewisham and London City Airport extensions, which are managed separately. As part of the new franchise they will be investing in a range of technology improvements on the network, including upgrading CCTV on trains and stations and providing electronic information screens on stations and trains.

Photo: Courtesy of DLR

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