The network stretches east from Bank and Tower Gateway to reach stations at Stratford, Beckton, Greenwich, Lewisham, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal.

The DLR opened in 1987 and operates as a driverless, computerised system. The railway's performance and dependability is among the best in mainland UK - for example, around 99% of trains depart on schedule.

The DLR service

  • Every station has step-free access to platforms and trains
  • The network has multiple connections with the Tube, buses, National Rail, Overground, river and coach services
  • The number of people using the DLR has increased rapidly, rising from 10 million in the early 1990s to around 119 million in 2017/18
  • Since it opened the DLR route has been extended six times while DLR trains themselves have grown from two to three cars

Managing the DLR

We set the specifications for train frequency and overall performance, and are responsible for fares and revenue. We also plan and fund improvements and extensions to the network.

KeolisAmey Docklands Ltd (KAD) operates trains and stations and maintains much of the network on our behalf. KAD took over the franchise from Serco Docklands Ltd in December 2014 following a competitive tendering process.

We will ensure that under the KAD franchise:

  • Service reliability continues to improve
  • Trains, stations and track are maintained to support service reliability and are used efficiently over the long term
  • Capacity on the railway continues to grow to support development in the Docklands area and along the railway's routes
  • Customer satisfaction continues to grow
  • The environmental impact of the railway is reduced
  • Safety performance continues to improve
  • A good value-for-money service is delivered for passengers and tax-payers

See the franchise agreement.

Quick facts

  • The six extensions added to the original network since 1987 are to Bank (1991), Beckton (1994), Lewisham (1999), London City Airport (2005), Woolwich Arsenal (2009) and Stratford International (2011)
  • The DLR has 45 stations and 149 vehicles - it opened with 15 stations and 11 vehicles
  • During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the DLR carried around twice the usual average number of daily passengers, with up to 500,000 people on the busiest days