30 years ago – our first VIP passenger

30 years ago today, Her Majesty the Queen was the first person to be photographed sitting in the prized front seat ‘driving the DLR’ when she opened the Docklands Light Railway.

Royal opening 1987

Since then, millions of people have had the opportunity to ride up front and enjoy the views of east London. The ever-changing skyline records the development that has taken place over the years and the DLR has played an integral part in this.

From 11 single-carriage trains, to 56 mainly 3-carriage trains; from 15 stations to 45 stations; from 13km of track to 38km; and from 6.7million passengers in its first year, to 122.3million (not to mention 6 extensions along the way), the step-free DLR has grown to become the 6th busiest railway in the UK. Quite a long way from its humble beginnings.


And we’re not done yet. With new trains on the way, and plans for the DLR in the draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy, there’s lots more in store for London’s light railway.

As anyone else born in 1987 will tell you, turning 30 is a milestone that deserves to be marked. We’re glad to be able to share our birthday with you with our travel guide offering 30 things to do via the DLR. So make sure you pick up or download your copy of Destination DLR, and discover east London courtesy of the Docklands Light Railway.

And whilst you are out and about, maybe tweet us a happy birthday – we’d love it! @LondonDLR #DLR30



1 Comment

  1. I had two of the Royal Standard headboards made, the spare stayed in the office, just in case the one on car 11 became detached – fell off in other words. The Queen and Prince Philip had travelled down river to the Greenwich side on the port of London Authority ‘Royal Nore’ vessel then crossed over to the Island Gardens side where a special temporary opening was made in the riverside wall. The plaque as unveiled was located on the wall of the original IG above ground station-terminus. Stephen Jolly, First DLR PR & Marketing manager.


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