Railroads have been around a very long time, since about 600 BC in fact. The Greek tyrant Periander built the "Diolkos" across the Isthmus of Corinth to shorten the transit time of his ships, hitherto having had to sail around the treacherous Peloponnese waters to get to Athens. This, roughly 3 1/2 mile long slipway connected the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. The ships were put on wooden, wheeled vehicles which ran in two deep, parallel groves: the very first rudimentary railroad.
Obviously we have come a long ways since then. No poor schmuck has to drag a twenty ton wooden vessel across 3 and a half miles anymore. Steel wheels, steel rails, automation, electronics, computers, ATP, ETCS, diesel engines and modern electric locomotives all are part of what is now the modern railroad.
This brings me to the point I am trying to make: running a railway takes planning, real long term planning. In fact, the longer you plan in advance, the better your results! Well, at least that is what the Dockland Light Railway in London is hoping for. How does planning 87 years in advance sound to you? It's got to be one heck of a new station on the DLR. I can not wait to see the grand opening of the "West India Quay" station in 2100!!!
Many thanks for this interesting tidbit to my eagle eyed friend Michael (www.macfilos.com) and his beloved Leica.
The London Tube is also planning ahead. Not for 87 years, but "just" the next few years or so. Parts of the Underground desperately need new rolling stock and TfL has commissioned several rail stock manufacturers to come up with ideas for new train sets to be used on the Picadilly and Bakerloo Lines. I think this concept is the best. It's from Siemens Mobility:
And here is the old Picadilly and District Line rolling stock: