Transport for London (TfL) has taken a step in its search for a manufacturer to design and build a new generation of DLR trains, by issuing an Invitation to Negotiate.

Four pre-qualified bidders – Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles and a consortium, consisting of Siemens , Stadler Bussang and Stadler Rail Valencia – can now proceed to the next stage of the formal procurement process for the new trains, which will come into service from 2022.

TfL will replace two thirds of the existing trains, some of which are 25 years old, and order an additional ten new trains to provide more capacity to the network.

They will feature on-board real- time information, air-conditioning and mobile device charging points for the first time. The extra trains takes the total capacity increase to 30 percent for the DLR network.
The contract to build the new trains will be awarded in autumn 2018.

The main difference is that instead of fleets of 2 or 3 cars, these will be similar to the modern trains, with a fully walk-through design.

Currently, around 20% of the length of a DLR train is doors, while the average for most metro-grade services is 30% for doors. The design change to fully walk-through carriages also releases more space for doors, so that people can get on and off faster.

The redesigned trains should be able to carry about 10 percent more passengers than the current trains.


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  1. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I think it will be Bombardier. They could manufacture the new rolling stocks for the Docklands Light Railway. As these new trains will feature better comfortable seats, interiors, lights, free wifi, longitude seats, walk-through passageways and LED information screens.

  2. Aubrey says:

    Hopefully, a uk manufacturer.

  3. Martin Garrad says:

    Now we hopefully away from the EU why can’t we just have trains that are made HERE !! Can you imagine the French having anything but French trains, or the Germans,German trains, of course not, They both make the rules for everyone in the EU ,but never abide by the rules themselves!!!!!

    • Chris M says:

      Martin – firstly we haven’t left the EU yet, secondly the EU does nothing to prevent us buying trains made in Britain (assuming that there is anyone who can do the job) and it would be perfectly legal in the EU for the DLR or any other European operator to weight local manufacture highly in their selection criteria.

      Secondly there are trams in Berlin and Cologne manufactured by French Canadian firm Bombardier, Siemens (German) trains in Spain, etc.

    • Steve62 says:

      In Germany you will find trains manufactured by Alstom (French), Stadler (Swiss), Bombardier (Canadian), PESA (Polish). In France you will find German- and Italian-built trains.

      If the UK confines itself to British “built” trains (I say that as trains these days are kits with components sourced from around the world – there are many foreign built trains for use on foreign railways that use British manufactured parts), then the manufacturing capacity simply wouldn’t be able to satisfy existing demand. This is why some of the Hitachi trains for GWR (using 71% British parts) are being built in Italy.

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