Navigating Canary Wharf’s DLR
London’s biggest DLR station
The biggest DLR station
Canary Wharf’s DLR station is a 6 track monster — the biggest on the DLR network.
It has also come a long way since its opening in 1991. The DLR network has had multiple extensions and expansions — now serving 45 stations with triple-length automated trains.
Passenger numbers have skyrocketed, having grown from just under 40 million passengers per year in 2000 to around 120 million passengers a year in recent years.
As the Canary Wharf estate has expanded, so have the DLR connections. In fact, there are now three stations that provide easy access to the financial estate:
- West India Quay
- Canary Wharf DLR
- Heron Quays
Here are some DLR facts and helpful tips to navigate the DLR stations at Canary Wharf.
Canary Wharf DLR station factsheet
|Developer||Olympia and York|
|Architect||GEC-Mowlem Railway Group|
|Number of tracks||6|
|Address / Postcode||14 South Colonnade, London, E14 4PZ|
Canary Wharf is not only well connected — its transport connections are London’s favourite!
At the time of construction in 1987 the DLR was the first driverless train system in the UK and was considered very futuristic.
However, with a designated cost for the entire network of £77 million, the rest of the stations opted for cheap, repeatable bus station style coverings.
Instead at Canary Wharf, the architects chose a domed glass roof — said to be in tribute to Victorian era train stations.
- DLR trains are fully autonomous
- During the 2012 Olympics traffic swelled to over 100 million journeys
- Originally overground only — the DLR now crosses the Thames twice
- There have been 5 extensions since 1987 with another planned in 2022
Interchanging at Canary Wharf DLR
With three TFL stations in Canary Wharf connections can be more complicated than they need to be. For interchanges between the DLR, Jubilee line and shortly Crossrail — here are three tips to keep you on track!
01. Free changes between Canary Wharf tube and DLR
There is a little publicised caveat in the TFL guidelines that show something called OSI’s — out of station interchanges.
In other words, that means that there are a few stations on the London transport network that when you swipe out, and change to a different mode of transport — if you do it quickly enough — it won’t charge you and counts as one journey.
There are two at Canary Wharf:
- You have 20 minutes to change between Canary Wharf Jubilee station and the DLR station and vice-a-versa
- Between Herons Quay and Canary Wharf Jubilee station you have 15 minutes and it will also count as one journey
02. Use West India Quay DLR for Crossrail connections
With Elizabeth line trains set to connect through Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Place in 2022 — and the station already open for the popular roof gardens and several restaurants — it will only continue to get busier.
You might be surprised to know that West India Quay could be a better option for connecting to Crossrail.
West India Quay DLR and Canary Wharf DLR stations are both actually equidistant from Crossrail place — at around 0.2miles or a 250 meter walk for either.
If you are connecting to the Elizabeth line from the north it will always be quicker to exit at West India Quay, then go one stop past.
While you’ll get to walk across the fancy Crossrail Place Bridge if you connect from Canary What DLR station — you’ll probably also get significant crowds. Ditch crowds and the bridge and transfer via West India Quay instead.
03. Heron’s Quay DLR is closer than Canary Wharf
Yep, In another quirk of the TFL system Heron’s Quay DLR station is closer — and much easier — to access the Canary Wharf’s tube station than Canary Wharf DLR is.
Heron’s Quay DLR drops you off at the southwest side of Reuters Plaza — with the Jubilee line stations main entrance 200 meters across the plaza directly in front of you.
However, if its a rainy windswept day — and in Canary Wharf it frequently is! — you might want to avoid the rain and take a slightly longer walk. Canary Wharf DLR provides covered access all the way to the Jubilee line via the underground shopping centres.