London Dignitaries Visit Beckton Depot to View First New DLR Train

The Mayor of London and the city’s Transport Commissioner visited Beckton Depot to see the first new DLR train this week.

A total of 54 trains are being manufactured by CAF, which was awarded the contract by Transport for London (TfL) in 2019.

New DLR train exterior
New DLR train exterior

The first trains will enter passenger service next year, with the new fleet fully operational by 2026.

The trains feature a walkthrough design that will increase capacity on each train by 10%. They are also fitted with the latest audio and visual real-time travel information, air conditioning and mobile charging points.

In addition, they will provide improved facilities for those with mobility impairments thanks to three multi-use areas and three dedicated wheelchair spaces.

New DLR train with walk-through carriages
New DLR train with walk-through carriages

More than half (33) of the trains will replace existing DLR rolling stock – some of which is over 30 years old.

The others are being introduced to boost network capacity and provide more frequent direct services to Stratford, allowing people from southeast London to reach east London without the need to travel through Zone 1.

The additional capacity will also support the growth of new homes in the area, particularly around the Royal Docks.

Thanks to this, TfL was able to successfully secure funding for 11 of the new trains from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as part of the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The DLR’s modernisation is a key part of the Mayor’s transport strategy, which focuses on investing in public transport to reduce Londoners’ reliance on cars.

His aim is to see 80% of journeys in London being made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:

“I'm delighted to be here at Beckton depot to see the first of our brand new DLR trains that will provide Londoners with more frequent, reliable and comfortable journeys from 2024.

“The DLR is a vital transport option for parts of our city. With over 90 million journeys made each year it’s currently the busiest light railway in the UK and its modernisation forms a key part of my vision to make London a greener, fairer and more prosperous city for all.”

TfL and KeolisAmey Docklands will now start testing the trains before they enter passenger service.

This will begin during overnight engineering hours and some planned closure times, followed by gaps between normal services later in the year.

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