This weekend there will be a chance to see a steam locomotive on the DLR — as a 150-year old engine will be on display at Poplar DLR depot.

Poplar locomotive (c) Kent and East Sussex Railway

What is officially an LB&SCR A class of British 0-6-0T steam locomotive, the engine on display is number 70, also known as “Poplar”, so it’s making a visit to Poplar depot for a couple of weeks. Having seen several periods of service on the K&ESR, an extensive overhaul was completed in time to celebrate her 150th Birthday in steam, so bringing to life the story of these once 50-strong class of diminutive locos, whose longevity and usefulness is legendary.

The engine, which is now owned by the Kent and East Sussex Railway, is in London as part of an educational programme for schools funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

While the engine will be available for local school visits organised by Global Learning London, it will also be open to the public this weekend. You’ll be able to visit the footplate and handle the controls of a 150-year steam train locomotive in the grounds of London’s famously driverless trains, the DLR depot at Poplar.

Groups for each 30-minute timeslot will be strictly limited to 20 people to ensure a full experience for visitors.

Tours will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June 2022

It’s a static display, but how often will you get to see a steam train on the DLR?

Excited? Then tickets cost just £5 per person and can be reserved from here.

Tip – strongly recommend booking on a PC, as the ticket sales page is difficult on a mobile phone.

Poplar DLR depot is next to… drumroll, Poplar DLR station, or a short walk from the Elizabeth line station at Canary Wharf, or a slightly longer walk from the Jubilee line station at Canary Wharf.

IMPORTANT – You must bring photo ID for anyone 18 years old or older. Participants under 18 are only permitted in the company of a person aged 18 or over. You must be at the DLR depot’s security gate at least 15 minutes before your time slot. This is a working train depot. You must obey the instructions of your group guide at all times and not go beyond the permitted area. You should wear sensible footwear. No high heels.

The locomotive is sitting on temporary tracks next to the storage yards for the DLR trains, and there is a step-free ramp up to the driver’s cab.

Proceeds from the booking fee go towards preserving these wonderful machines for the future.


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  1. Lizebeth says:

    Do you know if it’s just the engine, or if there are also coaches?

    • Jon Barnes says:

      It’s just the locomotive on a static display, as in not moving…the info’ is all there.

  2. Alex says:

    Always good to see a Terrier

  3. Alfie1014 says:

    But unfortunately no weekend services on the Elizabeth line until later in the year so sadly not an option for visiting this treat!

  4. Anthony Skinner says:

    Is the Elizabeth line open this Saturday, I visited last Saturday and it wasn’t

  5. Sue says:

    It’s at poplar depot so can take dlr right to the door. I was on it yesterday.

  6. Anthony Skinner says:

    Thank you Ian for this, without your notification I would have missed this

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