There will be lots of smiles on the DLR, as the famously driverless DLR trains will come with steering wheels, so passengers can pretend to drive the train.

Obviously, people love to sit at the front of the train and pretend to drive it, and now Transport for London (TfL) will be trialling ‘driving the train’ vinyl stickers installed initially in ten trains later this month.

The update came after Caroline Pidgeon AM asked the Mayor of London if the arrival of the new DLR trains later this year would be supported by a “fun promotional DLR campaign which includes child friendly ‘cardboard steering wheels’ for passengers who enjoy pretending to drive the DLR trains”

Answering, it was confirmed that TfL will consider how it brings to life the ‘driving the DLR’ experience for children, and that could include cardboard steering wheels.

Of course, by children — they mean absoltuely everyone who gets a bit excited when they see the front seats are available.

TfL sais that it will review learnings from the front seat ‘driving the train’ vinyl sticker trial in early 2024 before finalising plans.

A wider campaign is expected when the new trains start carrying passengers, which is expected to be within the next few months after final tests are completed. The full fleet of 54 new trains will be in service in early 2026, replacing 33 of the oldest DLR trains and increasing capacity on the network.

However, it’s not the first time that TfL has offered steering wheels on the DLR though, as about a decade ago they handed out inflatable wheels that could be blown up to form a wheel.


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  1. Rob says:

    I want one please!

  2. Ian Charles says:

    The driverless Copenhagen Metro has a dashboard with dials and controls painted on the panel under the window at the front seat of the train. Disappointingly for children, these seats have often been taken by “adults” fulfilling their dream of driving a train!

  3. James says:

    Surely a touchscreen with some kind of speed control and buttons for doors, vigilance, announcements, lights etc and a radio would be more educational than a steering wheel?!

  4. Henry Allum says:

    This is really a stupid idea! Trains do NOT have steering wheels. That’s what the railway track is for!

    • Darryl says:

      Its just for a bit of fun. Stop being such a miser

    • Jen says:

      So kids spinning the wheel won’t make the train spin off the track? Phew! Now all we need is to ensure a dead man’s handle is incorporated in case a kid drops dead while driving.

  5. Simon says:

    This is nothing new, it was done about 13 years ago by TfL indeed i was given one of these steering wheels when i worked for them!

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