The Anonymous Widower

Could London Get A New Tube Line Between Canary Wharf And Euston?

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on CityMetric.

The article makes some interesting points.

  • The line has been proposed by the owners of Canary Wharf.
  • Getting to Canary Wharf from Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras is difficult.
  • Property developers have always decided where London’s railways go.
  • The plan would seem to have just one intermediate stop at Blackfriars station.

These new or improved services will be happening in the next ten years.

  • More and faster services to/from the Midlands and the North West at Euston.
  • High Speed Two services at Euston
  • More and faster services to/from the East Midlands and Sheffield at St. Pancras.
  • More Continental services at St. Pancras
  • More and faster services to/from Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland at Kings Cross.

These lead me to the conclusion, that a new rail link is needed across London.

A Possible Western Extension To The Docklands Light Railway

In A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway, I wrote about a possible Western extension of the Docklands Light Railway.

his map from Transport for London, shows this possible Western extension of the DLR.

This was my analysis.

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, that I wrote about in Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays, could this extension of the DLR, be a good idea?


  • Victoria, Euston and St. Pancras are prosposed Crossrail 2 stations.
  • It would link Canary Wharf and the City of London to Eurostar, Northern and Scottish services and High Speed 2.
  • It would give all of the Docklands Light Railway network access to Thameslink.
  • A pair of well-designed termini at Euston and St. Panras would probably increase frequency and capacity on the Bank branch of the system.
  • The DLR is getting new higher capacity trains.
  • Bank station is being upgraded with forty percent more passenger capacity.
  • Holborn station is being upgraded and hopefully will be future-proofed for this extension.
  • One big advantage at City Thameslink, is that Thameslink and the proposed DLR extension will cross at right-angles, thus probably making designing a good step-free interchange easier.
  • The Bank Branch of the DLR currently handles 15 tph, but could probably handle more, if they went on to two terminal stations at St Pancras and Victoria..
  • Waterloo and City Line can run at twenty-four tph.

Cinderella she may be, but then she always delivers, when there is a desperate need, just as she did magnificently at the 2012 Olympics.

The only problem with this extension of the DLR, is that compared to the rest of the system, the views will be terrible.

For myself and all the others living along the East London Line, with a step-free change at Shadwell, we would get excellent access to Euston, Saint Pancras and Victoria

But could the line still be called the Docklands Light Railway, as it spreads its tentacles further?

Will Cinderella come to the help of Canary Wharf for a second time?

I remember, when the Lewisham extension of the DLR was built without fuss, fanfare and cost and time overruns a couple of decades ago.

It was a triumph of sensible engineering.

April 18, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,


  1. Perhaps the view could be improved by art on the tunnel walls.

    Comment by Kevin Roche | April 18, 2019 | Reply

  2. Perhaps the view could be improved by adding art to the tunnel walls.

    Comment by Kevin Roche | April 18, 2019 | Reply

  3. Moving pictures as at Southgate station could be added.

    Comment by AnonW | April 18, 2019 | Reply

  4. Given news today that Crossrail 1 might not now open to Spring 2021 the omens for Crossrail 2 are not good in the short term .

    It’s therefore always useful to have another far cheaper option at the back of the drawer and this extension to the DLR seems ideal for providing a way to cope with extra passengers at Euston Station when HS2 arrives .

    This scheme also comes with the benefit of freeing the DLR from its highly constricted terminal at Bank Station with the current upgrade making it possible to handle more passengers from west of Bank Station.

    Given the way the DLR has a will to grow then as soon as it reaches Kings Cross plans for it to serve north London will no doubt arise.

    Comment by Melvyn | April 18, 2019 | Reply

    • I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that theupgraded Bank station has been designed with the DLR going West at some date in the future. If that is the case and after the upgrade the two DLR platforms are effectively a high-capacity through station with a reversing facility, it would to possible to dig the DLR extension from the West without disrupting Bank station.
      Looking at London there are many sites in the Euston-Kings Cross area to dig a hole and insert a pair of tunnel biring machines, which could then accurately dig their way to Bank.
      There’s even a rather nice station building at York Road that could be reused for the terminus. Kings Cross Central wants a railway station, so give them one on the DLR with connections to the City and Canary Wharf.
      This could be the ideal line for someone like L & G or Aviva to build. They would get paid a rental by the DLR! It’s a bit like the Northern Line Extension to Battersea except that it’s the DLR and not a Tube.

      Comment by AnonW | April 18, 2019 | Reply

  5. I think the DLR is the only railway project in London to come on it time and in budget.

    Comment by Maurice Reed | April 18, 2019 | Reply

    • I have a feeling my software; Artemis, did the planning!

      Comment by AnonW | April 18, 2019 | Reply

  6. As it would become so integral with the rest of the Underground you could just drop the Light Railway bit and call it ‘Docklands’.
    When TfL split the Northern Line I like the name ‘Embankment’ line for Edgware to Battersea. High Barnet to Morden can remain ‘Northern. I think names are so much better than numbers, but it works for Paris, which has what – 18 or so.
    With this possible new line (+CR2) are we running out of bold colours on the map for them?

    Comment by Dave | April 19, 2019 | Reply

  7. I feel very much that names are good. I very much wanted to give the name of Brunel Line to the East London Line and I wasn’t the only one.As to what to call the Northern Line, when it splits, I won’t go there as everybody will have different ideas. But they must not be named after politicians, as every politician is liked by half the population and hated by the rest.
    Geographic or place names are better.
    The obvious names for the Northern Line branches are probably Northern Charing Cross and Northern Bank as everybody would understand them from past knowledge.
    As to colours, as an Electrical Engineer, I remember in the 1960s, there were worries about the colour of cables in places, where there were lots of cables. So cable manufacturers started to make cables with stripes, like the green and yellow earth lead, we see today.
    So perhaps, the Northern Line Charing Cross branch, should be black with a red stripe to symbolise the setting sun and the Bank branch could have a gold or silver stripe to signify money

    Comment by AnonW | April 19, 2019 | Reply

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