Docklands Light Railway

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is an automated light metro system serving the redeveloped Docklands area of London, England.[4][5] First opened on 31 August 1987, the DLR has been extended multiple times, giving a total route length of 38 km (24 mi).[2] Lines now reach north to Stratford, south to Lewisham, west to Tower Gateway and Bank in the City of London financial district, and east to Beckton, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal. Further extensions are under consideration.

Docklands Light Railway
A DLR train at Shadwell
OwnerDocklands Light Railway Ltd, part of Transport for London
Area servedLondon
LocaleGreater London
Transit typeLight metro
Number of lines7
Number of stations45
Daily ridership340,000 (daily average, DfT 2017)
Annual ridership116.8 million (2019/20)[1]
Began operation31 August 1987; 34 years ago (1987-08-31)
Operator(s)Keolis Amey Docklands Ltd. (Keolis 70%, Amey 30%)
Number of vehicles149
Train length2 or 3 vehicles per trainset
Headway3–5 mins
System length38 km (24 mi)[2]
No. of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Minimum radius of curvature125 ft (38 m)
Electrification750 V DC third rail (bottom contact)
Average speed40 mph (64 km/h)
Top speed
  • 50 mph (80 km/h)[3](Maximum Speed Capable)
  • 40 mph (64 km/h) (Regular Operational Speed)

Normal operations are automated, so there is minimal staffing on the 149 trains (which have no cabs) and at major interchange stations; the four below-ground stations are staffed, to comply with underground station health and safety regulations.

The DLR is owned by Docklands Light Railway Ltd,[6] part of the London Rail division of Transport for London (TfL). It is operated under a franchise awarded by TfL to KeolisAmey Docklands, a joint venture between transport operator Keolis and infrastructure specialists Amey plc, having been run previously (1997–2014) by Serco Docklands.[7]

Passenger numbers have greatly increased as the network has expanded, and in the financial year 2019/20 there were 116.8 million passenger journeys.[1]