Morgan Sindall Infrastructure appointed to deliver Beckton Depot improvements

02 March 2023
"The improvements at Beckton Depot are an integral part of the new DLR train programme."
  • Additional stabling provides safe storage for a growing fleet of DLR trains 
  • Improvements at the depot form part of larger programme that will see 54 new, state-of-the-art trains start to enter service from 2024

Plans to enlarge the DLR's Beckton Depot to provide a new maintenance building and expanded stabling capability have been given the green light to proceed. Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that Morgan Sindall Infrastructure will be the main delivery partner for these major works. 

The expansion of the depot and the additional sidings forms part of the larger DLR train programme that will see 54 new, five-car DLR trains start to enter service from 2024. These new, state-of-the-art trains will feature a walk-through design, latest audio and visual real-time travel information, air conditioning and mobile device charging points. Thirty-three of the new trains will replace some of oldest rolling stock, which are more than 30 years old and coming to the end of their design life, while 21 additional trains will boost capacity across the DLR network. 

These major works will deliver a new maintenance building, including a new train-lifting road, craneage, under train access and pits to enable the final assembly of the new B23 trains and longer-term maintenance facilities as more of the new fleet is introduced. A new test track facility will also be constructed to allow testing of the new Thales signalling system that will be introduced for both the new B23 trains and the existing B2007 fleet that is being retained.

With an expanding fleet, designed to keep pace with growing demand in east London, additional stabling to store the trains is required. The existing southern sidings will be extended and additional sidings will be constructed to the north of the new maintenance building, making a total of six new sidings accommodating 15 trains when the work is complete.   

Tom Page, TfL's General Manager of the DLR, said: "The improvements at Beckton Depot are an integral part of the new DLR train programme. Improved facilities will ensure the trains are well maintained to make sure our customers get the most reliable service possible." 

Simon Smith, Managing Director for Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, said: "Our work at Beckton Depot will be a key enabler in unlocking additional capacity for TfL's DLR, improving connections to east and southeast London.  

"We're pleased to partner with TfL once again as we work together to connect people, places and communities through innovative and responsible infrastructure." 

With more than 90 million journeys made each year, the DLR is the busiest light railway in the UK. New trains will provide more frequent direct services to the growing employment centre and cultural hub at Stratford, allowing people from across southeast London to reach new jobs in east London without the need to travel through Zone 1. It also serves Canary Wharf, a vitally important centre for the financial and professional service industries, where it links with the Tube network and the new Elizabeth line, which has recently seen its 100 millionth journey.  

The DLR operates across six Opportunity Areas in London, which have the potential to provide more than 124,000 homes and 200,000 jobs. There are around 45,000 of these homes either already under construction or with planning permission within walking distance of the DLR. The additional capacity this programme will deliver is essential to support further sustainable growth beyond that already permitted, particularly in parts of the Royal Docks and the Isle of Dogs where the DLR is such a vital transport option.  

The modernisation of the DLR is a key part of the Mayor's Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place to live, work and visit as well as supporting new jobs and homes. The investment in improving public transport will help reduce reliance on the car and contribute to the Mayor's target of 80 per cent of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041 and make TfL the green heartbeat of London.  

TfL is investing in other parts of its infrastructure to keep them safe, clean and reliable to encourage even more customers back. In addition to these depot works and new DLR trains, TfL is replacing the ageing Piccadilly line fleet with new trains that are creating jobs in Goole, Yorkshire. The Four Lines Modernisation programme is delivering more frequent, reliable and faster journeys to the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. The project to modernise and expand Bank station will also soon be completed, transforming customer journeys at the heart of the city.  

The main depot works at Beckton are expected to be completed in 2024 with all the new DLR trains due to enter service by 2026.