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24 September 2014

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You are in: London > Travel > Features > 20 Years of the DLR


20 Years of the DLR

It runs with no driver, takes tight corners, and transports us right across the re-developed East London - the Docklands Light Railway is 20 years old on Friday.

The first passenger train ran on 31st August 1987, after the line was opened by the Queen.

The original route ran with 11 trains to 15 stations, terminating at Tower Gateway in the City, Stratford to the East and Island Gardens to the furthest tip of the Isle of Dogs.

Docklands Light Railway

The DLR celebrates 20 years this week

Today the DLR runs 94 trains into 38 stations, extended to Lewisham, Beckton, Bank and soon Woolwich Arsenal via London City Airport. It carries over 60 million passengers a year and Transport for London expect this figure to rise to 80 million by 2009.

Here are a few facts about the DLR that you might not have heard before:

* DLR trains are capable of speeds up to 50mph, although they rarely travel above 40mph.

* A viaduct in the Limehouse / Westferry area is one of the oldest structures on the DLR, dating back to 1840. It is a listed viaduct that originally formed part of the London and Blackwall rope-hauled railway.

* DLR is the only driverless rail system in the UK. Its trains are operated remotely in a futuristic control centre.

* Westferry station is actually in Limehouse.

* East India station was originally called 'Brunswick Wharf', while Mudchute was formerly 'Millwall Dock'. The future Langdon Park station, due to open in November this year, was initially named 'Carmen Street'

* The original DLR station at Canary Wharf didn't open in 1987. In line with expected growth and development, it was dismantled, rebuilt and formally opened in 1991.

last updated: 12/05/2008 at 16:16
created: 29/08/2007

Have Your Say

Do you use the DLR? Have you lived in Docklands and remember life before the railway? Send us your memories using the form below and we'll post them!

Jonathan Cassar
The DLR is also the only 100% accessable line in London all stations have ramps or lifts, unlike the rest of the LUL network!

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