The DLR tunnel to Bank tube station is getting longer — not because of tunneling work, but because of a new housing development.

Over the past few months, a lot of new concrete going up the sides of the approach to the DLR tunnel, and in recent weeks, anyone who “drives the DLR” will have been able to see slabs going on top.

What’s happening is that a Network Rail / IJM Land joint venture is covering over the entrance to the tunnel, and putting four blocks of housing on top.

And for that to happen, the DLR was taken out of action for a few weekends to allow for the slabs to be added to the structure.

This is currently Phase 1 of the development, the enabling works to permit the buildings to on top, then 3 residential blocks will be added on top, rising up to 13 floors above the DLR.

A fourth block is being added next door for a hotel, but that sits on land that was previously an office block and won’t be affecting the DLR tunnels, but they are having to put in fresh piles and a new concrete slab lain on top. This will initially serve as a ‘crash deck’ during construction of the buildings over the DLR tunnel, and latterly as part of the final ground floor.

The concrete encapsulation works are being carried out by PJ Careys.

The arches under the existing C2C and Tower Gateway lines will be converted into new use away from their current storage and industrial, so expect a cluster of cafes and the like to spring up.

On the Royal Mint side, a row of shallow two-story flats will line the street, which doesn’t sound so good, until you notice in the plans, that these flats also get back gardens, while the rest have small balconies.

Tower Gateway DLR station also gains an additional entrance, on the opposite side to an existing staircase on Mansell Street, but with lift access as well.

Crossrail also gets a developer contribution of £1.2 million on top of the usual Section 106 contributions that they make to Tower Hamlets council.

When the works are finished, over 350 families will be living on top of the DLR railway tracks.

And people “driving the DLR” get to go into the tunnels about 150 feet sooner than they used to.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    This article explains the work I noticed travelling to Bank on the DLR a couple of weeks ago . Although at that stage I thought it might have been work to upgrade DLR approaching Tower Gateway Station.

    This work shows how money to invest in the Transport network can be generated by building above lines as in this case as was done at Dalston Junction where oversite development using a concrete deck includes a brand new fully accessible Station below and flats above .

  2. Dave Kiriwn says:

    Interesting, I did wonder what was going on with that corner of land…

  3. Mark Lamont says:

    I’ve been watching this slowly develop for a number of years. It’s a great piece of vision by the architects and credit to IJM Land for bringing forward the delivery. This corner of Royal Mint Street has always been an eye-sore and badly in need of regeneration.

  4. Desmond says:

    I travel this route often and wondered what was going on. Thanks to you, I know now. Awesome read.

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