Cleaner, faster trains for DLR lines through Newham

The Docklands Light Railway in Beckton. Picture: PA Wire/John Stillwell

The Docklands Light Railway in Beckton. Picture: PA Wire/John Stillwell - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Residents will see “more trains running more often” according to a train operator who has taken over the Docklands Light Railway, promising to cut some waiting times in half.

The £700million deal will see company KeolisAmey Docklands manage the DLR for Transport for London from December 7 to April 2021, saying it hopes to build “the best automated service in the world”.

This means it will run the DLR routes from Stratford and Beckton to Bank and Lewisham via Canary Wharf.

The new operators plan to boost services for passengers, promising cleaner trains and stations, more reliable lifts and escalators, better station maintenance and faster journeys.

Keolis UK chief Alistair Gordon said: “It is our ambition that the DLR will become the best automated service in the world.

“We’re confident that our expertise as the global leader in light rail services and as the operator of some of the UK’s busiest rail franchises, combined with Amey’s technical excellence, has created a best-in-class offering that will help us achieve this goal.”

Changes will start early next year, with an off-peak service to Woolwich Arsenal every five minutes and another five-minute service between Bank and Lewisham running until 11.30pm.

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Three-car trains will start to run on weekends from Stratford and Canary Wharf in an effort to reduce crowding.

The five-minute services, which will halve current waiting times, will be extended to the whole network by 2017.

The DLR played an important role during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Up to 6.9million journeys were made – an increase of more than 100 per cent.

KeolisAmey Docklands Ltd also looks to create more than 100 apprenticeships during the franchise, and job vacancies will be advertised locally to try to recruit from among Newham’s unemployed.