New trains for Docklands: artist’s impression of new CAF unit.

CAF WILL design, manufacture and supply a fleet of 43 new trains for the Docklands Light Railway. The contract awarded by Transport for London will include a Fleet Support Agreement to provide technical support services and spares supply.

The five-car sets, equivalent in length to three current trains, will be based on CAF’s metro vehicle design, with the first train entering passenger service from 2023. CAF was one of three bidders that tendered for the contract, alongside Bombardier and a consortium of Siemens and Stadler.

Of the 43 trains, 33 will replace the 94 B90, B92 and B2K units, with a further 10 to increase frequency and capacity across the network. The new fleet will offer audio and visual real-time travel information, air conditioning, mobile device charging points, multi-use areas and dedicated wheelchair spaces. The 55-strong fleet of B2007 vehicles will be retained to work alongside the new trains.

In the autumn 2018 budget the Government allocated an additional £291 million for investment in the DLR. Provided in response to a Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid, this potentially provides for a further 14 trains to be ordered.

To accommodate the larger fleet, TfL is planning expansion of the DLR depot at Beckton. On 3 June a contract notice was published inviting tenders for the first stage of this work, focusing on the southern sidings. This will involve creation of three new stabling sidings and requires seven new switch and crossing units, along with provision of test track capability.