Common questionsSkip to navigation
- Where are the drivers?
- What is light rail?
- How much does it cost to travel by DLR?
- Can I use my Oyster card on the DLR?
- Where are the DLR ticket machines?
- What are the DLR's operating hours?
- How frequently do DLR trains operate?
- Where does the DLR operate?
- Is the DLR accessible for people with mobility impairments?
- Are there interchanges between the DLR and other public transport modes?
- What security measures are in place on the DLR?
- Who are the DLR Community Ambassadors?
- Will the DLR provide transport links to and from Olympic Park and other venues during 2012?
- When did the DLR first open?
- How much has been spent on upgrading and extending the DLR?
- How many people have travelled on the DLR?
- Which is the busiest DLR station?
- How fast can DLR trains travel?
- Who owns the DLR?
- Who is the DLR franchisee?
- Who are the concessionaires?
1. Where are the drivers?
The entire DLR network operates as a driverless system. While trains may appear to stop and start of their own accord, the DLR is operated through a computerised system that is closely managed and monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at the DLR control centre. Control centre staff have access to a visual overview of the entire DLR network displaying exactly where each train is along the railway at any given time.
2. What is light rail?
Light rail uses smaller and less heavy vehicles than other forms of rail. It is particularly flexible in that it is capable of running above street-level, for instance most of the DLR London City Airport extension is elevated.
Light railways have more frequent stops, can navigate sharper curves and steeper grades, and trains are generally quieter than those used for conventional heavy rail. Light rail is typically less expensive to construct and operate than heavy rail and an ideal transport mode for moving large numbers of passengers along busy routes.
3. How much does it cost to travel by DLR?
Oyster pay as you go, Travelcards, single/return tickets and rail passes issued by Transport for London are valid on DLR if they cover the zones in which you wish to travel. DLR operates in zones 1, 2, 3 and 4.
For the full range of tickets go to our Tickets pages.
4. Can I use my Oyster card on the DLR?
Yes. Oyster is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on DLR. For more information go to our Tickets pages.
5. Where are the DLR ticket machines?
Ticket machines are located at all DLR stations. When travelling on DLR you must have a valid ticket, or you may be liable for a penalty fare. If you are unsure if your ticket is valid on DLR, please approach a member of staff for assistance as soon as you board the train.
6. What are the DLR's operating hours?
DLR operates on all routes every day of the year (except Christmas Day) as follows:
Monday - Saturday 05:30 - 00:30
Sunday 07:00 - 23:30.
7. How frequently do DLR trains operate?
Monday to Friday, trains run as often as every three and a half minutes during peak times and an average of every seven minutes during off-peak times. At weekends, trains run every 10 minutes. For more information call 020 7363 9700 or check posters at stations.
8. Where does the DLR operate?
The DLR operates within the Docklands and south-east area of London and provides a vital connection between east London and the city. The network encompasses areas including Bank, Tower Gateway, Stratford, Greenwich, Lewisham, London City Airport and Woolwich Arsenal.
9. Is the DLR accessible for people with mobility impairments?
Yes. The DLR network was the first fully accessible railway in the UK and provides step-free entrance and exits to all stations and trains, making journeys much easier for people using wheelchairs, with prams or carrying heavy bags.
10. Are there interchanges between the DLR and other public transport modes?
The DLR provides excellent interchange with other public transport modes, connecting with more than 100 bus routes, five mainline railways, eight Underground lines, plus coach, taxi and river services. Additionally the railway provides a direct link to London City Airport, offering a cost-effective and convenient way to travel to and from the airport. Airport passengers can reach the DLR platform in just four minutes.
11. What security measures are place on the DLR?
All DLR stations and trains are monitored by closed-circuit television (CCTV) and patrolled by staff, Travel Safe Officers and British Transport Police. A member of staff is on board every train to provide information and assistance. There are passenger alarms at all stations and on trains.
12. Who are the DLR community ambassadors?
DLR has eight community ambassadors who encourage local residents to use the railway. Between them, the ambassadors speak English, Bengali, Yoruba, Urhobo and Isoko. The ambassadors can answer questions about DLR, offer ticket machine training for those who are unsure how to buy a ticket and run DLR demonstration trips for those who use a wheelchair, buggy scooter or walking stick and want to see how easy it is to access stations and trains.
13. Will the DLR provide transport links to and from the Olympic Park and other venues during 2012?
Yes. The DLR will act as a key transport provider during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, serving the Olympic Park, ExCeL Exhibition Centre, Greenwich Park and Royal Artillery Barracks competition venues.
14. When did the DLR first open?
The DLR first opened to the public in 1987, three years after construction commenced. The original railway included 15 stations and spanned 13 kilometres of track, much of which was disused or underused.
15. How much has been spent on upgrading and extending the DLR?
Over £1.5 billion has been spent upgrading and extending DLR since it began operating. The original railway cost £77 million.
16. How many people have travelled on the DLR?
Since opening in 1987, moe than half a billion journeys have been made on the DLR. The network carries almost twice as many passengers per train today as it did back when it first opened.
17. Which is the busiest DLR station?
The busiest DLR station is Bank, which is used by an average of over 60,000 passengers per weekday.
18. How fast can DLR trains travel?
DLR trains are capable of speeds up to 50mph, although they rarely travel above 40mph.
19. Who owns the DLR?
The DLR remains in the public sector, owned by Docklands Light Railway Ltd which is part of Transport for London. DLR Ltd is responsible for developing the railway's assets and managing the franchise and concessions.
20. Who is the DLR franchisee?
In 1997, railway operations and maintenance were franchised to a private sector company, Serco Docklands. Serco have enjoyed a particularly successful franchise, and the railway continues to attain high standards of reliability and customer satisfaction.
The most recent re-franchising process began in September 2004. Following an initial tender, Serco Docklands was shortlisted and successfully awarded the seven-year, £400 million franchise in April 2006.
21. Who are the concessionaires?
DLR is supported by three concessionaires who have designed, financed, built and now maintain the most recent extensions to the DLR network. City Greenwich Lewisham (CGL) Rail manage the Lewisham extension, while City Airport Rail Enterprises (CARE) is responsible for the London City Airport extension. Woolwich Arsenal Rail Enterprises (WARE) manages the DLR Woolwich Arsenal extension.