DLR to create shunting vehicle from withdrawn vehicles

Over the past few years there have been a small number of units on the Docklands Light Railway which have not been operational and now with the impending arrival of a new fleet of trains (being built by CAF) these are considered surplus to requirements and they were expected to be scrapped once stripped for spares. However, there has now been a development in this regards as from the three which had been withdrawn one good vehicle is to be made from them and it is to be used as a shunting vehicle for when the new trains do arrive.

The three units which have been out of service long-term are 39 (which last ran on 13th May 2016), 88 (which last ran on 4th March 2020) and 98 (last running 5th July 2019). Of these there had been previous confirmation from sightings that both 39 and 98 had gone to Booth’s in Rotherham for scrapping and it was widely expected that 88 would be following them. (Although there have been sightings of these two going to Rotherham, TfL they have recently stated that the scrapping has not yet taken place).

But now Transport for London have confirmed that 88 is to be retained by KeolisAmey Docklands and will be used as a dedicated shunting vehicle to assist with the unloading and moving of the new CAF trains when they are delivered to Beckton Depot.

This has seen parts from 39 and 98 used to make it serviceable as well as the installation of a DLR free issue coupler adaptor. The two redundant vehicles were then stripped of any other spares before being passed over for scrapping.

The savings made by converting this vehicle rather than purchasing or hiring something new are significant – £21,000 against at least £100,000.

Although this means that 88 is never likely to be seen outside the confines of the depot complex again it does mean that it will survive for now and could even end up being the last of its type to see use.

Thanks to Jim Boden for information contained within this article

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