The DLR's latest extension, to Woolwich Arsenal, opened on 10th January 2009. This extension completed the City Airport and Woolwich route, which initially opened as far as King George V in North Woolwich on 2nd December 2005.
The City Airport extension branches off the Beckton line at a junction a short way south of Canning Town and runs parallel to Silvertown Way, which crosses the Beckton line and the North London Line as it curves away to the east. The new line climbs, first onto an embankment then onto a viaduct, which then runs alongside Silvertown Way. The railway is elevated from this point as far as the Airport.
The first stop is West Silvertown, which serves the residential and industrial areas on the south side of Royal Victoria Dock. The elevated railway continues along the southern side of what is now North Woolwich Road to Pontoon Dock station, next to Thames Barrier Gardens.
From Pontoon Dock the railway continues to run next to North Woolwich Road, as far as the roundabout junction with Connaught Crossing approach road, where it turns north west to the airport perimeter. From here the viaduct turns east again to follow Hartmann as far as London City Airport station, which is next to the airport terminal.
This is where the viaduct ends, with the railway ramping down to street level. As it runs between Hartmann Road (which at this point is the access road to the airport car parks) and Newland Street (a residential road) it runs behind concrete barriers. The station at King George V, next to the dock of the same name, functioned as the terminus from December 2005 until the opening of the Woolwich extension in January 2009.
After leaving King George V station, the line descends into a tunnel under the Thames. This tunnel turns first south, to cross the river, then west to reach Woolwich Arsenal station. Just like the terminus at Beckton, trains arriving at Woolwich are facing the opposite direction to that in which they traveeled for most of their journey. The station at Woolwich is undergound, alongside the National Rail station of the same name.
The DLR's City Airport and Woolwich extensions supplement or replace a variety of transport modes in this area. In particular the Airport extension meant the end of the shuttle bus services between the airport and Canning Town/Liverpool Street.
The Airport route, in conjunction with the planned DLR Stratford International extension, has also seen the replacement of the North London Line between Stratford and Canning Town with DLR trains and the abandonment of the North London Line between Canning Town and North Woolwich, with the closure of the mainline stations at Custom House (also served by the DLR), Silvertown and London City Airport (replaced by the DLR station which is nearer to the airport) and North Woolwich (replaced by King George V DLR station). Foot passengers between North Woolwich and Woolwich now have a choice of three ways to cross the river—the Woolwich foot tunnel, the Woolwich Free Ferry (which also carries vehicular traffic) and the DLR.
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