New DLR line will open in ‘late spring’

THE long-awaited Docklands Light Railway extension to Stratford International is set to open almost a year behind schedule, transport chiefs have admitted.

Transport for London (TfL) said technical problems had delayed the opening of the new line, which will link the high-speed station with Canning Town.

It was supposed to open to passengers last summer, but a spokesman admitted services will not begin running until “late spring”.

Trains will call at new stations at Stratford High Street, Abbey Road and Star Lane.

There will also be interchanges with the Tube at Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford.

A TfL spokesman said: “The Stratford International extension will open to the public in late spring 2011.

“This delay has been caused by joint venture contractors Skanska and Volker Rail taking longer than expected to progress some technical aspects of the project such as communications system design and installation.

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“While further work on these systems is required, test trains have started running on the extension.

“The new link will be ready well in advance of the 2012 Games and provide a lasting legacy to the East London community.”

Stratford International was completed in 2006, but no trains called there until November 2009 when Southeastern began running high speed services between London and Kent.

There is currently no conventional rail link to the station, with only a shuttle bus service linking it to Stratford station about 400 yards away.

Eurostar services could also begin calling at the international station once the new DLR link is in place, with the operator due to decide on the matter after the 2012 Olympics.