New DLR trains could be delayed even further as contractor goes into administration

The front of one of the new DLR trains at the Beckton depot
-Credit: (Image: Callum Marius/MyLondon)

Sadiq Khan has said that the full rollout of DLR trains could be delayed even further. The stock was due to start being introduced onto the network in April this year.

Now, the first of the new trains is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year. But the Mayor of London has said that the full programme has been interrupted by a contractor going into administration.

This means a change to a TfL depot that needs to be made before all the new carriages can be introduced could take longer than planned. Mr Khan updated the London Assembly on May 29.

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Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (C) reacts as he visits Brent Cross town visitor pavilion for a housing launch with Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, (L) Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (R) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (2nd L)
Sadiq Khan has spoken of difficulties hitting the project -Credit:Carl Court/Getty Images

He said: "The new DLR trains will be fantastic, enhancing the experience for customers with features such as real time information, air cooling and USB charging points. They will provide additional capacity, unlocking thousands of new homes.

"The first train is scheduled to enter service this year. However, the programme has been hampered by a contractor working on the expansion of the depot at Beckton going into administration in September 2023.

"As such, whilst Transport for London is striving to have all 54 trains in service by the end of 2026, this is subject to how testing of each train goes and how the depot programme progresses which will provide the additional stabling and maintenance building required."

TfL admits 'challenges'

It comes after TfL admitted that there have been 'challenges' when testing its new DLR trains. In documents for the next meeting of the authority's board, set for June 12, officials also describe changes to works on three DLR routes. These are needed if the new carriages are to run smoothly.

Inside one of the new DLR trains showing one of the dedicated wheelchair bays
The new DLR trains are fully wheelchair accessible with three dedicated bays -Credit:Callum Marius

Papers stated: "To date, 30 new DLR trains have been built and are in various stages of testing. Work continues to prepare for the first train in revenue service later this year.

"Key to this will be the integrated testing and operational proving phase. While we have experienced some challenges with this phase, we continue to work collaboratively with our suppliers and operator to mitigate this."

They added: "Works are progressing well to construct the new sidings at Beckton Depot and we expect these to be ready for use in the summer. We have completed power works on three routes of the DLR to enable the new trains to operate and works to construct a second entrance at Blackwall Station have progressed with the piling now complete.

"We have now also issued the tender for the design and build of the further expansion to the sidings at Beckton Depot. This is required to stable the additional 11 trains funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Homes and Communities. Enabling works on site have now commenced for this work."

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