Mayor of London

Docklands Light Railway

The network encompasses areas including Bank, Tower Gateway, Stratford, Greenwich, Lewisham, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal.

The DLR opened in 1987 and operates as a driverless, computerised system.

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 more than 110 million in 2014/15.

Since it opened, the DLR has been extended six times, and in recent years trains have been lengthened from two to three cars.

The DLR played a crucial role during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, providing direct connections to the Olympic Park and several other venues.

During the Games, the DLR carried around twice the usual average number of daily passengers, with up to 500,000 people on the busiest days.

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 on 7 December 2014 following a competitive tendering process.

Under the new franchise, TfL will ensure that:

  • 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.


The DLR boasts a strong operational record - the railway's performance and dependability is among the best in mainland UK.

We set tough performance targets as part of the franchise agreement to ensure that high standards of customer service are maintained.

The DLR has consistently achieved its targets. We work closely with the operator to improve station facilities and increase capacity to meet the continued growth in passenger numbers.

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, compared to 15 stations and 11 vehicles when it opened