Introducing Docklands Light Railway

Elevated, automated, driverless. Meet the mode where you can feel as though you're driving the train!

Industry and Jobs

Docklands Light Railway (DLR) was built to assist the creation of the London Docklands area as a business centre

Figures of Projected Jobs in Docklands once Redevelopment has occurred (1975-04-15)TfL Corporate Archives

Royal Day in Docklands (1987-08-14)TfL Corporate Archives

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 30 July 1987

Passenger services commenced on 31 August 1987

The Queen at the front of the DLR (1987-07-01)TfL Corporate Archives

It cost £77 million, had 15 stations, and was 13 miles long

Docklands Light Railway Travel Guide (1991-06-01) by Docklands Light RailwayTfL Corporate Archives

The Service Operated as 2 Routes

Tower Gateway to Island Gardens, and Stratford to Island Gardens

Docklands: Existing Railway, Future Stops, Planned Construction, and Possible Extensions, London Regional Transport, 1991, From the collection of: TfL Corporate Archives
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Even before opening day, planning was underway for the first extension, to Bank

Tube Map Showing Docklands Connections (1990) by London Regional TransportTfL Corporate Archives

The Bank extension opened in 1991, having began to be shown on the Tube Map from 1990

Docklands Light Railway Route Improvements and Extensions Map (2007-06-15) by Docklands Light RailwayTfL Corporate Archives

Another 5 Extensions Completed

Docklands is a place to live, work, and visit

East London Development Areas Map (1990-06-15) by London Regional TransportTfL Corporate Archives


Extensions keep pace with and encourage the growth of Docklands as an international business and financial centre

DLR Lewisham Extension Parliamentary Exhibit Key Plan (1990) by London Regional TransportTfL Corporate Archives

There are now routes to Beckton and Lewisham (opened in 1994 and 1999)

Update on Olympics enhancements on Docklands Light Railway (2009-01-01)TfL Corporate Archives

The extension to London City Airport opened in 2005 and the route to Woolwich Arsenal in 2009

Update on Olympics enhancements on Docklands Light Railway (2009-01-01)TfL Corporate Archives

Stratford International

The latest extension came in 2011, with Stratford International opening in time for the London 2012 Olympics

Today, the DLR has 45 stations. It operates as a driverless, computerised system. This means the very front seats of the trains offer you a driver's view - perfect for budding train drivers!

DLR Train with Canal Barges in Foreground (2017-08-12)TfL Corporate Archives

Credits: Story

Story compiled by TfL using information in records at the Transport for London Corporate Archives. The Corporate Archives seeks to preserve and make accessible records, not to interpret them. A wider range of material is available for physical consultation.

Permission is granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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