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How to use London transport: using the DLR

Use our step-by-step guide for beginners on how to use London's Docklands Light Railway

How to use London transport: using the DLR

London can seem scary and so can London’s transport. If you have never used the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), here is a useful step-by-step guide explaining how to use it.

Using the DLR is much like using the tube, although it is above ground, with the exception of a few stations, which are underground.

Step 1: Just like the underground, make sure you keep left when walking around or standing on the escalators, so you don’t get in other people’s way.

Step 2(a): The DLR doesn’t have barriers, so if you have a card you must remember to find the yellow card reader and scan in. Similarly when you are exiting the station, make sure you find the yellow card reader and scan out (this is so that you aren’t charged an incorrect fare).

Step 2(b): If your oyster card is not topped up enough, then the barriers will not open for you. There are ticket machine in all tube stations, where you can top-up your oyster card or purchase a Travelcard. You must have a card or ticket in order to ride on the DLR or you may get fined.

Step 3: Similar to the underground, once you are on the platform, there is a display board which tells you when the next train is. If yours is not the next train to arrive at the station, stand back to ensure that other people can get on theirs.

Step 4: When your train arrives at the station, you must push the button (once it is illuminated) to open the doors. Let the people off the train first and then board.

Step 5: Walk onto the train and find a seat or an appropriate standing space (depending on how busy it is, you may need to walk down the train and stand in front of where people are sitting) and make sure that you have something to hold onto because the average speed of the DLR is 50mph.

Step 6: The DLR announces the stops upon arrival and there are also DLR maps located around the trains, so that you know when to get off.

Step 7: When you want to get off, make your way to the nearest doors and wait until the button lights up and then press it to open the door.

Step 8: Follow the signs (either for the way out or for the other lines that are at the station).

Step 9: If you are exiting the station, make sure you have your card ready and find the yellow card reader to scan out.

Fun fact: The DLR is London’s first and only driverless train system of its kind.