Skip to content

Docklands Light Railway celebrates 25th birthday

Published: 24 Aug 2012

In only 25 years, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which has been managed by Serco on behalf of Transport for London since 1997, has grown from just two routes and 11 trains to become a key part of the world's largest and most prestigious sporting event as well as serving a rapidly expanding local community.

And as London's first fully accessible railway, it celebrated its 25th birthday on Thursday 23 August by looking forward to repeating its successful role at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic Games for the Paralympic Games.

DLR Director Jonathan Fox, who cut a large birthday cake to distribute slices to passengers at Stratford Station, said: "For 25 years, we have been proud to be such a vital part of communities in East and South East London and in the last few weeks we have stepped up to support Team GB and also served the international sporting community.

"In doing so, the DLR broke all previous records for passenger numbers. The secret to making that happen, besides having a totally dedicated staff, is in the years of preparation which meant adding extra carriages and installing signalling upgrades.

"When the Games are over, this Olympic legacy will ensure that Team DLR, will be well prepared to continue its daily role serving commuters as well as its wider role in regenerating this vibrant and developing part of the Capital."

David Stretch, the Managing Director of Serco Docklands Ltd, which has operated the railway on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) and DLR since 1997, said: "We are proud to have worked in partnership with DLR for 15 years, where we have improved reliability and delivered an excellent service, to help make London's regeneration railway such a success."

Over the Olympic Games the DLR has delivered a record breaking daily service and seen record numbers of passengers, whilst continuing to deliver an exceptional service.

Half a million passengers alone were carried on Friday 3rd August with every train leaving on time.

Saturday 11th August saw further record performance with 100% on time departures during a day when 91% more journeys were made than on a normal Saturday. Overall, 7.2 million passengers carried during London 2012 Olympic Games.

The DLR has recently completed an extensive investment programme which has extended the train service to new destinations, made the trains and platforms longer, improved journey quality and reliability, upgraded stations and built a new state-of-the-art Control Centre. The Olympic Delivery Authority invested £80 million towards these improvements and £650 million was invested by Transport for London and other partners.

Passenger numbers have continued to grow significantly, reaching over 80 million journeys a year and the network is expected to achieve 100 million journeys by 2015.