The route to Stratford was one of the original three arms of the Dockland Light Railway, utilising former and current railway alignments for its full length. The route takes trains from the docklands through predominantly residential areas to Stratford, which is being extensively redeveloped to host the 2012 games and has already become a major regional transport hub. The route has seen some changes since opening, with two new stations and a major reconstruction of the terminus at Stratford.
From North Quay Junction, trains run east to Poplar station. This was rebuit to four-platform layout for the Beckton extension, and lies next to Poplar depot (Operations and Maintenance Centre—OMC). The line swings away north, parting company with the Beckton extension, and there is a connection with the depot tracks just before All Saints station. From here the line uses the alignment of the former North London Railway (opened in 1866) through stations at Langdon Park, Devons Road and Bow Church. Just north of Bow Church the line becomes single track, and climbs steeply with a sharp right-hand bend to join the alignment of the Fenchurch Street–Bow–Stratford railway line, which runs alongside the DLR to the junction with the Great Eastern line out of Liverpool Street.
The single DLR track runs alongside multiple National Rail tracks, with a passing loop at Pudding Mill Lane station, to reach a new island platform at Stratford. This station, already served by main line railway services and London Underground's Central Line, increased siginficantly in importance in 1999 when the Jubilee Line Extension to Central London via North Greenwich and Canary Wharf opened. The station will grow further in importance as a transport interchange when Stratford International station on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link opens—this will be served by an extension to the DLR currently under construction.
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