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Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

The DLR is an automated light metro system and it opened in 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London.

The DLR is operated under a franchise awarded by Transport for London to KeolisAmey Docklands, a joint venture between transport operator Keolis and infrastructure specialists Amey plc. It was previously run for over 17 years by Serco Docklands, part of the Serco Group. The system is owned by Docklands Light Railway Ltd, part of the London Rail division of Transport for London. In 2014, the DLR carried 110.2 million passengers.

The DLR is 25 miles (40 km) long, with 45 stations. There are six branches: to Lewisham in the south, Stratford and Stratford International in the north, Beckton and Woolwich Arsenal in the east, and Central London in the west, splitting to Bank and Tower Gateway.

The DLR is operated by 145 high-floor bi-directional single-articulated Electric Multiple Units (EMUs). Each car has four doors on each side, and two or three cars make up a train. There are no cabs because normal operations are automated, and a small driver’s console is concealed behind a locked panel at each end, from which the Passenger Service Assistant (PSA) can drive the car if required. Consoles at each door opening allow the PSA to control door closure and make announcements whilst patrolling the train. With the absence of a driver’s position, the fully glazed car ends provide a forward and rear view for passengers. The top speed is 62 miles per hour (100 km/h).

Despite having high floors and being automated, the cars are derived from a German light-rail design intended for street running. All cars look similar but there have been several different types, some still in service, others sold to other operators. The most recent additions were the B2007 units which were purchased from Bombardier in 2005 and delivered between 2007 and 2010.