New DLR trains now delayed until “later this year”

Plans to introduce new trains onto the Docklands Light Railway network will now not commence until later this year.

The latest Transport for London Commissioners Report before a TfL Board meeting next week states: “we have experienced some challenges with this phase, we continue to work collaboratively with our suppliers and operator to mitigate this”.

Oldest DLR stock due for replacement

The first train was due to enter service before the end of the financial year in early April but issues including overshooting a stop point has seen that target unmet.

Other updates within the report include news that sidings at Beckton Depot are nearing completion “and we expect these to be ready for use in the summer.” That expansion was for the initial order before 11 further trains were confirmed.

New train on test. Courtesy TfL

Further depot expansion is needed and the report highlights that “we have now also issued the tender for the design and build of the further expansion to the sidings at Beckton Depot.

Those expansion works – necessary though they are of course – have seen extensive reductions of services.

DLR service reductions last month

In total 30 trains out of a total order of 54 have now been built by Spanish manufacturer CAF.

The 33 oldest trains on the networks dating from the early 1990s will be scrapped and new trains cannot come fast enough.

Seats on oldest trains not in great shape

Decline is visible inside and out while TfL have had to start running shorter trains to limit mileage.

Those 30 year old trains are now exhibiting visible rust on the outside while internal fittings look ever more tired.

Rust on door

A few months back issues started to become visible on a frequent basis and no longer seemed a one-off. Flip-up seats for example with covers missing or half hanging off have became a pretty common site.

Other seats are ever more threadbare with materials wearing away.

DLR at Stratford

Mechanical issues

And that’s just what’s visible for passengers. Underneath there’s mechanical and structural issues which appear to be an ever bigger headache as stock lengths are reduced to maintain older stock.

If testing of new trains overcomes those issues seen earlier this year during testing the good news is other elements of the program are complete, with the report stating “We have completed power works on three routes of the DLR to enable the new trains to operate”.

When they do arrive the walk-through nature will ensure greater capacity as well as power points and air conditioning – plus that all-new light blue colour scheme.


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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    3 thoughts on “New DLR trains now delayed until “later this year”

    • It’s probably best to replace the whole entire DLR fleet with these new 6-Car trains that will be in service from later this year or early next year. It would make such a difference once they are in full operation. Not to mention a new DLR station at Thames Wharf to be built close to the new Silvertown Tunnel.

    • might seem like a stretch but would it be possible to refurb the older stock and use them for trams perhaps in Thamesmead lol

    • I understand why that new trains are being delayed until later this year. As CAF have won the contract to manufacture new trains for the DLR. CAF could also manufacture new Bakerloo Line trains to replace the 1973 Stock as part of New Tube for London. As Siemens who have won the contract to build and manufacture the new 2024 tube stock for the Piccadilly Line.


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