Improving the DLR

The DLR is the busiest light railway in the UK. It operates across 6 opportunity areas in London which together have the potential to provide more than 124,000 homes and 200,000 jobs.

new dlr train

New trains

We're introducing 54 new trains to replace the 33 oldest trains in our fleet, some of which are more than 30 years old. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has funded 11 of the extra trains.

The new trains will help us to improve the frequency and reliability of services and support population and employment growth across the network, particularly in parts of the Royal Docks and the Isle of Dogs where the DLR is the main transport option.


We'll start introducing the new trains in 2024, with the whole fleet in place by 2026.

Features include:

  • Spacious walk-through carriages
  • Live travel information
  • Air conditioning
  • Improved accessibility features
  • Mobile device charging points

The first of the new trains arrived at Beckton depot in January 2023. They're being tested and integrated with the DLR's signalling system to ensure they're reliable when they come into service.

Other work in 2023 at Beckton and Poplar depots and on the rest of the network will prepare for the new fleet. As well as routine track and infrastructure maintenance, we'll upgrade our power and communications systems and test the new trains outside operational hours.

Planned closures in 2023

We'll do everything we can to minimise disruption to customers, but on some weekends we'll need to close sections of the railway to finish the DLR upgrade work. We apologise for any inconvenience. The closures for the next few months are published on our planned line closures and service changes page

The next weekends are:

Tuesday 6 June - Thursday 8 June and Saturday 10 June - Wednesday 14 June

  • Whole network closes an hour early for rail maintenance

Saturday 17 June - Sunday 18 June

  • Beckton to Poplar, Essential maintenance

Sunday 25 June

  • Poplar to Beckton, Stratford International to Woolwich Arsenal: new train testing

Sunday 02 July

  • Lewisham to Westferry and Poplar, New train testing

Saturday 15 July - Sunday 16 July

  • Stratford to Canary Wharf, Bank and Tower Gateway to Canning Town and Canary Wharf, Routine maintenance

Construction at Beckton Depot

To get ready for the new trains, we're building a major extension to our depot at Beckton - this includes expanding the size of the depot and adding a new rail sidings. The main depot works started in 2021 and will finish in 2024.

Working hours

Works will usually take place:

  • Weekdays 08:00-18:00
  • Saturdays 08:00-13:00

We've agreed these times with the London Borough of Newham.


Although some noise is unavoidable during such works, our contractor will take all reasonably practicable measures to control it in line with the Control of Pollution Act 1974. We're a community railway and minimising disturbance to our neighbours is key.

Contact us if you have any concerns or questions about the programme of works:

DLR timetable

A new DLR timetable started on Monday 15 May 2023, bringing more frequent services and reduced waiting times across the entire DLR network. These improvements build on the enhancements we made to the DLR timetable in September 2022. 

Bank station improvements

In late 2022, we opened brand new escalators to directly link the Northern line platforms with the DLR at Bank station.

Early in 2023, we'll add a new entrance to Bank station on Cannon Street, and a lift connection from here will link customers with the DLR. When this new lift opens, there will be multiple options to make travel through Bank station more reliable.

Escalators at Cutty Sark

We're refurbishing all escalators at Cutty Sark station. We took over management of this station in 2021 from an external contractor and developed a plan to refurbish the escalators. We have since discovered that the condition of the escalators was worse than expected, meaning they need to be entirely rebuilt including manufacturing custom built parts.

We are ensuring that lessons are learnt from the project and pre-ordering parts for the remaining escalators where possible. When complete, the installation programme will provide four new escalators for customers.

Access to the station is currently via stairs with limited step-free lift access.

We are improving the ambience throughout the station, working closely with local stakeholders such as Visit Greenwich to produce artwork installations, to make Cutty Sark a more welcoming environment. We have also added a more frequent cleaning regime, to ensure the station is clean for customers throughout the duration of the improvement works.

We're sorry if this work causes you any inconvenience. We are regularly reviewing our communications to ensure that we are providing the most up to date information.

North Quay

We're working closely with Canary Wharf Group to support the development of the North Quay, alongside the Elizabeth line Canary Wharf station. This will mean improved access to West India Quay station and a new connection from Poplar station directly into the Canary Wharf estate, improving connections with City Airport, ExCeL and more.

These improvements will begin from 2024.