TfL reveals first of new B23s for Docklands Light Railway

The first of 54 new trains for the Docklands Light Railway has been officially unveiled.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport Commissioner Andy Lord were among the dignitaries invited to inspect the five-car B23 stock unit on February 8, following its arrival by road at Beckton Depot in mid-January.

A second electric multiple unit is due to be delivered by CAF from its Beasain factory in Spain by the end of February, to enable type testing and signalling integration to get under way.

Members of the public will initially see the new trains being tested during planned closures and at night, before daytime testing and ghost running in between normal service trains starts in late summer.

The units will need to accumulate at least 20,000km (12,400 miles) of running before the Office of Rail and Road can authorise their entry into service. The first B23 stock is then expected to start carrying passengers in early 2024, with the full fleet in service by early 2026.

“These new state-of-the-art DLR trains will transform journeys for our customers and help support future growth in east London, which benefits the UK’s economy as a whole,” said Lord.

“The trains will now go through testing ahead of introduction in 2024, to ensure they provide the reliability both we and our customers expect. I look forward to seeing them across the network and helping contribute to the DLR’s continuing success.”

A total of 43 new trains were ordered by Transport for London in 2019, in a deal worth £350 million. Thirty-three were needed to replace life-expired 31-year-old B90/B92/B2K units on the DLR (only B07 stock will remain), while a further ten are destined to boost capacity on busy routes including Stratford-Lewisham.  

A TfL spokesman indicated to RAIL that new public announcements are likely to be recorded for the new trains. A final decision has yet to be taken.

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