The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is operated by high-floor, bi-directional, single-articulated cars with four doors on each side, with each train normally composed of two cars. The cars have no driver’s cab, although there is a small driver’s console concealed behind a locked panel at each car end from which the passenger service agent (PSA) can drive the car when necessary. Other consoles at each door opening allow the PSA to control door closure and make announcements whilst patrolling the train. Because of the absence of a driver’s position, the fully glazed car ends provide an excellent forward (or rear) view for passengers.
Despite having high floors and being highly automated, the cars are derived from a German light-rail design intended for use in systems with elements of street running. All the cars that have operated on the system look similar, but there have been five separate types, of which three are still in operation on the DLR. A further car type, with quite different styling, was first displayed in March 2008 and is due to be in service before September 2008.
Withdrawn rolling stockEdit
The fleet for the 1987 opening consisted of 11 light-rail vehicles built in 1986 by LHB in Germany and numbered 01 to 11. These were referred to as P86 stock, with P referring to Poplar depot, where they were maintained. These cars were built for the initial above-ground system and, because of the lack of appropriate fire-proofing, were not allowed to operate on the tunnelled extension to Bank. Because of this, and because adaptation to a new signalling system was too costly, these cars were sold in 1991 to Essener Verkehrs-AG of Essen, Germany, where they were extensively rebuilt and put into service on its Stadtbahn between 1994 and 1998. Originally, they retained DLR colours and were limited to route U11, but after a further modification programme started in 2005, trains are appearing in a yellow livery and are used on all routes.
In 1989, BREL supplied another ten LRVs, numbered 12 to 21. These share the characteristics of the original P86 stock. They were thought equipped with sufficient fire-proofing to operate through the tunnels of the Bank extension. These were designated P89 stock and remained in operation on the DLR until the middle of the 1990s. They were also sold to Essen, where they entered service between 1999 and 2004 after major modifications had been carried out. They are now painted yellow and blue and are used on all routes of the Essen Stadtbahn network.
Current rolling stockEdit
Further vehicles were required as the network grew and as the original P86 and P89 cars had to be replaced due to their unsuitability for the changed system conditions. Bombardier built 23 vehicles of B90 stock in 1991, 47 vehicles of B92 stock between 1993 and 1995 and 24 vehicles of B2K stock in 2001 and 2002. When new the B2K stock differed from the earlier vehicles in appearance due to doors and handrails painted in contrasting colours to their surroundings. They are also fitted with internal LCD display screens. These differences were all mandated by the Rail Vehicle Access Regulations (RVAR) of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which were not in force when the older stocks were built.
The B in the type codes refers to Beckton depot, where they are primarily maintained. They are of a common design and can be operated interchangeably in trains of two. All of them remain in service.
The DLR fleet at the end of 2004 was:
- 22–44: Bombardier B90, built 1991
- 45–91: Bombardier B92, built 1993–1995
- 92–99, 01–16: Bombardier B2K, built 2001–2002
DLR cars had a common livery of red, blue, and white upon delivery. Over the years, several vehicles have received all-over advertising livery. A new livery of turquoise and blue was tested on B92 car 45 in the mid-1990s, but it was not adopted, and the car reverted to standard livery a few years later. Refurbishment of the B90 cars started in 2004, with the completed trains re-entering service in a new livery of red and blue with grey doors.
All the current stocks have been refurbished with a new livery and redesigned interior. The redesigned ones will feature a digital voice announcer (DVA) who gives the name of each stop and will name the terminus when approaching each station.
Future rolling stockEdit
In May 2005, Bombardier announced that they would be providing a further 24 vehicles of a new design, which they consider superior to the current fleet. The new cars, needed for coming extensions and three-car service on the Bank–Lewisham route, are to be delivered between May 2007 and September 2008.  These vehicles are known as B07 stock or B2007 stock, and are numbered 101 to 124. The first new DLR train was delivered on the 22nd December 2007, the rest of the first batch will be in service by September 2008.
In June 2006 another 31 vehicles were added to this order, partly funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority, to be delivered by 2009.  If previous naming conventions are applied, then it is expected these additional vehicles will be known as B09 stock but are also known as the Olympic batch, and will be numbered 125 to 155. This batch will be delivered soon after the delivery of the first batch.
Three trains of the new stock, 104, 105 and 106, were on display at West India Quay on the 13th March 2008.
- ↑ Bombardier (1997-2006). Bombardier Receives A $94 Million US Order From Docklands Light Railway For Automatic Light Rail Cars To Be Used In London, UK. Retrieved February 26 2006.
- ↑ Docklands Light Railway (2006). DLR looks to the future with Olympic train order, UK. Retrieved June 24 2006.
- ↑ TheRailwayCentre.com (2008). New Docklands Light Railway stock unveiled. Retrieved March 25 2008.