Frequenters of the DLR must rejoice since a train upgrade draws ever closer, as Transport for London (TfL) has revealed that four bidders that are vying for an opportunity to secure the contract have been given an invitation to negotiate.
Four pre-qualified bidders now continue to the next stage of the formal procurement process.
Bombardier Transportation, Alstom Transport UK, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), and a consortium made up of Stadler Bussnang AG, Stadler Rail Valencia SAU, and Siemens will now compete for the prize of building forty-three (43) new walk-through air-conditioned trains to begin serving the capital from 2022.
The contract will be awarded in autumn 2018, with the order including the series of new trains to increase the capacity on the DLR by a maximum of 30 percent.
The new trains will replace two-thirds of those that are currently in operation, some of which are almost 25-years-old, and they will offer passengers onboard and real-time information, as well as charging points for mobiles and air conditioning for the first time.
TfL said that the upgrade is required in order to support the growing popularity of the railway, along with the ongoing redevelopment of the Docklands area. The DLR will soon provide various interchanges with the incoming Elizabeth Line services between Shenfield, Abbey Wood, and central London, with the line getting up and running by the end of 2018 and set to increase passenger numbers further.
These interchange stations include West India Quay, Canary Wharf, Custom House, and Stratford.
The director of rail and sponsored services of TfL, Jonathan Fox, stated: “This important step in the procurement process brings us closer to delivering the new trains needed to support the continued passenger growth on the DLR, which currently carries 122m customers a year.
“These new trains will enable us to increase capacity on the network by up to 30 percent, significantly improving the comfort, reliability and quality of our service for customers. They will also support the creation of further jobs and homes in the Docklands area.”
Currently, the DLR has 56 trains and serves 45 stations.