Docklands light railway; Docklands light railway;

Docklands Light Rail, London

Boosting railway capacity for the 2012 Olympic Games

Arup lead the railway infrastructure design to increase the capacity  of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in time for the London 2012 Olympics. This involved track and permanent way enhancements to enable 3-car trains to be introduced on the DLR network at nineteen locations. Many of which were constrained due to the urban environment.

As the stadia for the Games were adjacent to the DLR line a significant increase in passenger numbers was predicted for this part of east London. And post Games, the future economic growth of the area was dependent on increasing the supporting infrastructure.

Following production of Approval in Principle (AiP) submissions, Arup produced detailed design ‘construction’ drawings with full documentation and certification.

The engineering design included determining the strengthening requirements of the existing DLR structures to cope with a longer fatigue life, the additional loading, platform extensions and station remodelling at 19 stations to accommodate longer trains, and track modification for improved throughput. 

Our team  also designed track modifications including grade separated railway junctions to increase the number of trains that run on the network. 

Arup’s design approach maximised the sustainability of the project, with initiatives such as re-using the deck of existing viaduct by repositioning at a different alignment to avoid its demolition and removal.

The project involved over 200 Arup staff from international offices with the team ranging from permanent way, civil and geotechnical engineers, to acoustics, environmental and landscape specialists.