Order placed for additional 11 new state-of-the-art DLR trains
- From 2024 customers will start to benefit from the new trains
- Funded by the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund, the new trains will support the development of thousands of new homes and jobs
An option to purchase 11 additional state-of-the-art DLR trains, funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), has now been exercised by Transport for London (TfL). This will mean a total of 54 new trains will be introduced from 2024, promising customers more frequent, reliable and comfortable journeys.
The new DLR trains have been funded by the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund, which was originally agreed in 2019. They will be used to further increase capacity and help unlock 10,000 new homes across the network, particularly in the Royal Docks and on the Isle of Dogs. The DLR was designed to support and create growth in the areas it serves, with these additional trains doing just that by allowing more reliable, comfortable and frequent services to Lewisham, Woolwich Arsenal and Stratford for both new and existing residents.
The new trains are being designed and built by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A (CAF). TfL previously awarded a contract in 2019 to CAF for 43 trains following a comprehensive procurement process that focused on deliverability, technical expertise and value for money.
The first two new DLR trains, which feature a walk-through design, latest audio and visual real time travel information, air conditioning and mobile device charge points, have been delivered and are going through extensive testing ahead of introduction from 2024. This vital testing will ensure the trains are reliable and offer customers the best possible service.
Testing is currently taking place in overnight engineering hours and during some planned closures but later this year customers will see test trains running during the day in gaps between normal services. The new trains will be easy to spot as they feature a specially designed train wrap to help prevent confusion should a test train need to stop at station.
All 54 new trains will be introduced by the end of 2026 and will help boost overall capacity on the network by more than 60 per cent. Each train will feature 10 per cent more capacity and also provide better facilities for those with mobility impairments with three multi-use areas in addition to three dedicated wheelchair spaces. These multi-use areas can also be used to accommodate pushchairs, bicycles and luggage.
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: "More than 90 million journeys made each year the DLR is the busiest light railway in the UK and these new DLR trains will provide Londoners with more frequent, reliable and comfortable journeys from 2024. Each train will feature 10 per cent more capacity and also provide better facilities for those with mobility impairments. The DLR is a vital transport option for east London and the Docklands area and these upgrades will support new jobs and homes in the area, helping to make London a greener, fairer and more prosperous city for all."
Tom Page, TfL's General Manager for the DLR, said: "These new DLR trains will transform the journeys of millions of existing customers but will also give us the opportunity to welcome many more as new jobs and homes are created in east London and the Docklands area. Testing is progressing well ahead of the trains being introduced from 2024 and I really look forward to welcoming this new fleet to help contribute to the DLR's continuing success."
Lutfur Rahman, The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: "Tower Hamlets is home to a rapidly growing population, and these improvements to the DLR network will vastly improve accessibility for all, making it easier for residents and visitors to travel around our borough.
"Our borough will greatly benefit from the new DLR trains, particularly with the new homes undergoing construction on the Royal Docks and the Isle of Dogs. Accessible, efficient, and dependable public transport is crucial to ensuring safer and greener journeys for all residents."
Richard Garner, CAF UK Director, said: "CAF is absolutely thrilled to be supplying 11 additional trains to DLR to supplement the original order of 43 trains and play our part in the growth and accessibility of London"
With more than 90 million journeys made each year, the DLR is the busiest light railway in the UK. The new trains will provide more frequent direct services to the growing employment centre and cultural hub at Stratford, allowing people from across southeast London to reach new jobs in east London without the need to travel through Zone 1. It also serves Canary Wharf, a vitally important centre for the financial and professional service industries, where it links with the Tube network and the new Elizabeth line, which has seen more than 155 million journeys since opening.
The DLR operates across six Opportunity Areas in London, which have the potential to provide more than 124,000 homes and 200,000 jobs. There are already a number of these homes either already under construction or with planning permission within walking distance of the DLR. The additional capacity the trains will deliver is essential to support further sustainable growth beyond that already permitted, particularly in parts of the Royal Docks and the Isle of Dogs where the DLR is such a vital transport option.
A plan to deliver new transport links, homes and regeneration in Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside has also moved a step closer with TfL and its partners submitting a Strategic Outline Case to Government. The business case outlines how an extension of the DLR could have a transformative effect on the area. Should this be approved, it would require additional DLR trains to support the expansion of the network.
The modernisation of the DLR is a key part of the Mayor's Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place to live, work and visit as well as supporting new jobs and homes. The investment in improving public transport will help reduce reliance on the car and contribute to the Mayor's target of 80 per cent of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041 and make TfL the green heartbeat of London.
TfL is investing in other parts of its infrastructure to keep them safe, clean and reliable to encourage even more customers back to the network as the city continues to recover. In addition to new DLR trains, TfL is replacing the ageing Piccadilly line fleet with new trains that are creating jobs in Goole, Yorkshire. The Four Lines Modernisation programme is delivering more frequent, reliable and faster journeys to the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.
Notes to editors
- The initial contract for 43 trains increased capacity by 30 per cent with additional trains boosting this further to more than 60 per cent
- A video of the new trains is available from CAF here
- The DLR is entirely step-free and currently has 45 stations and 38km of track
- The Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) provides Forward Funding capital grants for strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects, which enable the delivery of additional homes. The DLR HIF growth capacity project includes 11 additional trains, land and additional stabling at Beckton depot which will support the delivery of over 10,000 homes both directly by GLA/TfL and indirectly by developers
- B2007 trains that were introduced in 2007 will remain in service
- Press release about the proposed DLR extension to Thamesmead can be found here