One of the great joys about the oversized roller-coaster that is the Docklands Light Railway has long been the ability to sit right at the front of the train and “pretend” to be the train driver, or more maturely to get a view of a train line from an aspect rarely seen by ordinary folk.

Despite living in Docklands for several years, I have only ever twice achieved the goal of sitting in the front, and only once did I have a camera on me.

People may mock the technical difficulties of having driverless trains on the Underground – although the Victoria Line is already almost driverless – but I bet the public would LOVE to be able to see the view from the front of an underground train.

Off on a tangent, with more overland trains coming with onboard Wi-Fi, wouldn’t it be great if some of them fitted a webcam to the front and streamed live footage over spare capacity on the Wi-Fi cellular backhaul?

Anyway, have some DLR photo porn – the trip is from Tower Gateway to Westferry.

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

Drivers eye view from a DLR train

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  1. One of life’s little pleasures :-)

  2. Hive

    I don’t think we’ve ever been on the DLR when we haven’t been able to sit right at the front – although of course it helps if you are with a kid, which takes some of the shame out of racing through the carriage to get a seat. My kid sees it as an essential part of the treat of a day out at Greenwich or Mudchute. The bit going down to Bank is particularly roller-coaster-like.

  3. DAN

    We’ve done that several times, you don’t even have to sit in the front seat – a row or two behind works just as well – and its a wonderful ride.

    Works best if you’ve got tourists in tow and travel from Shadwell or Limehouse through Canary Wharf out to Greenwich .

  4. Cynthia

    I love that too. And yes, the Bank bit is like a roller coaster – at least a bit of fun before you get stuck in underground hell.
    My other innocent pleasure in (rail related) life is running down the ramps at Waterloo East and slamming my feet on the floor really loudly. Try it, it will make you feel 5 years old again. (Plarform A is best for this)

  5. M@

    My tip is to sit on the very back seat (easier to get), video the view, and then play it in reverse.

    • IanVisits

      Except that my “trip towards Canary Wharf” would be for some mysterious reason on the wrong train line ;)

  6. Elizabeth

    Even when a driver does have to get on to take over the train for a stretch I see grown men itching to take over and be a train driver.

    I swear that the panels, once they open them up, are like those activity mats for 2 year olds with lots of coloured buttons to press and a telephone receiver to pick up and things that go bang and whizz (okay, maybe not whizz) if you push something. It taps into the inner toddler and is very funny to watch.

  7. Sue

    I’m *so* glad it’s not just me that pretends to be the driver!

  8. Nigel Pitt

    I am a supposed ‘grown up’ but still love to sit at the front of the DLR and pretend to be the driver! Best journey is into Bank where the driverless train hurtles through the tunnel into the station.
    I hate it when I can’t get the front seat – I know, act my age!

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