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New DLR trains unveiled, serving London City Airport and the rest of the network from 2024

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Transport for London has released images of the new Docklands Light Railway trains which will serve London City Airport, and indeed most of the rest of the DLR network, from 2024.

54 new trains have been ordered from a Spanish manufacturer, and the first has just arrived in the UK.

New DLR Docklands Light Railways trains for London

33 of the new trains will be direct replacements for existing ones, whilst the additional 21 will be used to increase frequencies.

Whilst the trains are now arriving in the UK, a substantial testing period means that you will not be able to ride one until early next year. The full roll-out will be complete in 2026.

New DLR Docklands Light Railways trains for London

Some of the red 2007 trains will be retained to run alongside the new fleet. The majority of the trains heading for scrap are approaching 30 years old.

The trains will be walk-through, which means that there will no longer be any forward facing seating except at the very front and back (see image above). The ‘walk through’ design will lead to seating capacity increasing by 10%.

New DLR Docklands Light Railways trains for London

Mobile charging facilities will be available.

Vastly improved real-time travel display information will be available.

New DLR Docklands Light Railways trains for London

There will be three ‘multi use’ areas to increase space for people with mobility impairments – and which can also be used for bikes, luggage and pushchairs – on top of the existing three wheelchair spaces.

There will also be a new seat fabric. The train exteriors will be teal coloured.

PS. Heathrow passengers don’t need to feel left out. New Piccadilly Line underground trains are on the way, although the launch date has been pushed back from 2024 to 2025.

Comments (89)

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  • Bosco1979 says:

    The colour scheme screams soviet-era eastern bloc. It’s not for me I’m afraid.

    • Thywillbedone says:

      Dreadful colour. But I will forgive all such sins for aircon in public transportation. It is one of the reasons I never use TFL when travelling with lots of luggage or the whole family: the thought of arriving at my STARTING point in a sticky dishevelled mess is too much to bear …

    • Rich says:

      I care more that a train gets me from A to B safely, on time and in comfort thanks. We all have different views on colour, but frankly most won’t care.

    • Alex Sm says:

      It’s official DLR colour! What can one do about that?

    • RussellH says:

      Looks just like the RATP (Paris Metro) livery to me.

    • Londonsteve says:

      Why? RATP uses a similar colour scheme. It’s bright and jolly in my opinion.

  • BJ says:

    Was this funded by the levelling up programme?

    • Dubious says:

      Clearly not – the tracks have not changed. These trains will run on the same elevations as the ones they are replacing.

      • Rob says:

        It was funded by the levelling up programme, yes. That’s why there are 20+ more trains than there were before – half of those have been funded by a levelling up grant.

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          These weren’t funded by “levelling up” at all because funding was obtained and they were ordered before that phrase and grants for it came about!

          The original order was for 43 new train sets (33 replacement and 10 for expansion).

          There are an additional 11 more which are are being funded from a Housing Infrastructure Fund which pump primes transport schemes that facilitate housing developments. This also predates levelling up.

  • Dev says:

    They could not come with something less “boxy” and more modernist to represent the new prosperous docklands area?

  • Paul Stevens says:

    The thing that annoys me most about the dlr is how jerky its movement is. I wonder if these new trains will smooth that out. Maybe it’s the track and nothing can be done ..

    • Alex Sm says:

      It’s because they are driverless

      • ChrisBCN says:

        No, it’s not

      • The Jetset Boyz says:

        It’s because the current train sets are ‘light rail’. Can’t remember the correct name for new train sets – they’re not ‘light rail’, and because of this they’ll have a smoother ride.

    • RussellH says:

      A ,lot of the DLR was built on what had become redundant infrastructure. Add to that some very tight curves. And I suspect (I do not know) that the short original cars may only have primary suspension.

      • Rob says:

        Yes – I think the original DLR network cost about £75m, which was peanuts even back in the late 1980s. It was Tower Hill to Island Gardens, with all stations above ground and, as you say, the bulk of the track already existing. There was a disused railway line running south from Canary Wharf to the Greenwich foot tunnel which was converted and of course the Tower Hill to Limehouse bit was next to existing track.

    • riku says:

      it is because of the tight curves on the DLR, especially at Canary Wharf. The wheels of trains on the DLR (old and new trains) have a different curve cut into them compared to other UK trains because of the tight curves, but this means the trains bounce from side to side more.

    • Alan says:

      It’s meant to be better, was mentioned in Geoff’s review (see YT link I posted on p3 of comments)

  • lonjams says:

    These trains will not age as badly as other rolling stock as they arrive already aged out of the box.

  • Froggitt says:

    Now the Lizzy Line connects Farringdon with Canary Wharf in like 5 minutes, no longer have any need to use the trundling DLR

  • flyforfun says:

    Nice! Fresh colour scheme and sleek looking units. Should make the journey to City Airport more comfortable.

  • ChrisBCN says:

    It will help a little but not a lot; it’s mostly jerky due to the tighter curves, undulations, and that it’s not designed as a regular heavy railway.

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