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British Industrial History

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Docklands Light Railway

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The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is a light rail system. It currently extends to Stratford in the north, and Lewisham in the south, west to Bank in the heart of the City financial district, and east to Beckton and North Woolwich (including London City Airport).

1984 Construction started. Civil engineering was carried out by John Mowlem; GEC Transportation Projects was responsible for the electrical and mechanical work; the vehicle propulsion equipment was manufactured by GEC Traction [1]

1987 Opened for passengers

1989 Extension approved from Beckton to Royal Docks area

1991 Bank extension opened

1995 Tower Gateway to Beckton section of Docklands Light Railway opened

1999 Lewisham extension of Docklands Light Railway opened

2000 Became the responsibility of Transport for London

2005 Extension to Woolwich Arsenal began to be constructed. Extension to London City Airport opened.

2009 Woolwich Arsenal extension opened

The DLR has separate track and trains from the London Underground, but the two systems share a ticketing system and the DLR appears on the Underground’s Tube map.

The trains are computer-controlled and normally have no driver: a Passenger Service Agent (PSA) on each train is responsible for patrolling the train, checking tickets, making announcements and controlling the doors. PSAs can also take control of the train in certain circumstances including equipment failure and emergencies. Stations are generally unstaffed except the ones below ground, which are required to be staffed in case evacuation is needed.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Friday, Apr. 19, 1985
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Key Dates in the History of London Transport, by Transport for London