The Stratford International extension will see the DLR taking over the North London Line between Canning Town and Stratford, three with new intermediate stations, as well as a link to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) Stratford International station to the north of Stratford.
As well as serving the CTRL station, and providing a fixed link to what will become known as Stratford Regional station, this extension will be an important part of the public transport provision for London's 2012 Olympic Games. If the current timescale can be adhered to, the extension will open in 2010.
TfL is currently in the process of presenting a Transport and Works Act (TWA) application, the first stage in the process. If this plan goes ahead, the North London Line will operate between Richmond and Stratford: as well as the conversion of Stratford–Canning Town to DLR operation, the section from Canning Town to North Woolwich will be abandoned, as it will be duplicated by the DLR's City Airport line.
South of Canning Town, a third platform will be constructed at Royal Victoria, using part of the North London Line alignment. The City Airport line junction will be reconstructed as a partially grade-seperated junction between the Beckton, City Airport, Poplar and Stratford International routes, with a viaduct taking the 'mainline' Beckton–Poplar line over the City Airport tracks. At Canning Town station the DLR will take over the North London Line platforms, so there will be two seperate pairs of DLR platforms—one for Stratford International extension services and one for Poplar line services.
North from Canning Town, the DLR will run alongside the Jubilee Line tracks on the current North London Line alignment, with a station on new location at Star Lane. Stephenson Road crosses the railway lines just north of here, before West Ham is reached. Again, the DLR will take over the NLL platforms, and there will be interchange here with the District and Hammersmith & City lines and c2c mainline railway services to and from Fenchurch Street. The Jubilee Line also stops here.
After West Ham station there are four bridges over the tracks in quick succession. First comes the bridge carrying the Hammersmith & City and District lines and the Fenchurch Street railway line, which is followed by a closed bridge carrying Crows Road over the tracks. Then the tracks are spanned by the substantial structure of the Northern Outfall Sewer. This Victorian-era structure runs from Hackney Mills to the sewage works next to the Thames at Beckton; on top of the sewer a footpath, Greenway, has been created. The fourth bridge in this area carries Abbey Road over the tracks, and this will be the site of Abbey Road station. On the other side of the Jubilee Line tracks is the impressive Stratford Market London Underground depot.
Another new intermediate station will be Stratford High Street, which will be followed closely by Stratford where the DLR will take over the North London Line platforms, next to the Jubilee Line platforms in the low level part of the station. At the end of the platforms here, trains will dive under the high level station (including the DLR platform serving the Poplar–Stratford line)in a short brick tunnel, continuing along the route of the North London Line. Stratford International station will be in the railway lands north of Stratford station, adjacent to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link station. This will be reached by diverging from the North London Line route along the High Mead loop railway (which currently carries freight traffic towards Lea Bridge and the Lea Valley line).
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