Londoners and visitors to the English capital will have the opportunity to be part of a brand new, first of its kind experience on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) this summer as Transport for London (TfL) and its operator KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD) launch the DLR Discovery.
Ticket holders will be taken on a guided tour between two of London’s most iconic destinations, Tower Gateway and Cutty Sark, on a special non-stopping service on a route not normally served by the DLR.
Each train will include a professional tour guide on board as it travels along raised tracks through the transformed Docklands area of east London, known for its vibrant neighbourhoods and rich cultural heritage. The DLR is a unique way to see how this part of the capital has grown and developed over the last 100 years and locals and visitors are encouraged to explore and discover more of the area they live and work in, or pass through every day.
The guide will offer an informative and engaging commentary, providing insight into some of east London’s most well-known sights that passengers can see as they wind their way past the towering skyline of the financial and cultural district at Canary Wharf and the futuristic Crossrail Place and Roof Garden above the newly-built Elizabeth line station. The tour will also take in the historic Billingsgate Fish Market, Limehouse basin and its astonishing network of navigable canals as well as the iconic Cutty Sark tea clipper.
The experience will continue with a thirty-minute guided walking tour around the historic heart of Greenwich, giving customers the opportunity to learn more about the World Heritage Site with a professional guide. The walking tour will start and end at Cutty Sark DLR station and take in the Cutty Sark, one of the only remaining tea clippers from the nineteenth century, and pass by the Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum.
The tours are the first of their kind to operate on TfL services and will start on 4 August 2018, running every Saturday and Sunday until 9 September 2018. Trains will depart on the hour every hour, starting at 10am each day, with the last tour leaving Tower Gateway at 5pm. Tickets for the exclusive DLR Discovery train are £8 for adults and £4 for children and include a return journey on the DLR. These can be purchased on the DLR Discovery page.
Angela Morgan, a Blue Badge Tourist Guide at the Association of Alongside DLR Discovery trains, TfL is working to encourage Londoners to explore all that London has to offer by public transport during off peak travel times and through walking and cycling.
The DLR opened in 1987 and helped kick-start regeneration in the Docklands, playing an integral role in the transformation and regeneration of the area while supporting the creation of thousands of jobs and homes.
The network began with just 11 single-carriage trains that served 15 stations and has since been extended six times to help meet east London’s growing population. Thirty years on, the entirely step-free DLR carries 124 million passengers per year, up from 6.7 million in its first year, and encompasses 45 stations with 56 mainly three carriage trains on 40 kilometres of double track. There are 1,794 services per day, carrying 380,000 passengers every weekday and operates 364 days a year.
DLR customers will benefit from new trains in 2022, helping boost capacity on the DLR by 30 per cent. The new trains will feature onboard real time information, air-conditioning and mobile device charging points for the first time.
The new trains are part of the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy, which looks to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city by improving public transport and encouraging active travel.