Here’s why DLR trains are getting shorter

What’s going on with the new DLR trains?

The current 30-year-old DLR trains are on death’s door. But before they creak into retirement, they’ve got to complete a few more miles first. To keep the trains alive while the new ones are being tested, TfL is running convoys with fewer carriages to save mileage. The old fellas just need a break!

According to London transport expert IanVisits, on the Woolwich branch of the DLR, the number of cars per train has been reduced from three to two. The B92 trains are already past their ideal retirement age, but they can’t be scrapped until the new, improved carriages are fully tested and ready to hit the rails. The 54 new trains were delayed by a few months back in February as the testing was taking longer than anticipated. 

If TfL decided to keep the old locomotives running normally and retire them when they hit their mileage limits, then the DLR could have been losing five trains per month from May onwards, which would have caused real problems for passengers. So, TfL has had no choice but to reduce the capacity of the old DLRs to help eek out the service as long as possible. 

The first of the two-car trains came into service on the Woolwich to Stratford branch late last year, but only on quieter Mondays and Fridays. But now the shorter trains are running all through the week. The shorter trains are currently only on the Woolwich branch and not the Lewisham. TfL hopes by cutting the mileage of the old carriages they will be able to run until October if necessary. 

When the DLR makeover is complete, 54 swanky new trains will replace 33 older ones, increasing the service’s capacity by 60 percent. And don’t worry, you’ll still be able to unleash your inner child and pretend to drive the train. TfL is even introducing fake steering wheels

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