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The Beckton branch, which opened in 1994, is the longest of the railway's extensions. It runs for a little over five miles from Poplar through the Royal Docks area to a terminus at Beckton. There are interchanges—with National Rail at Custom House, and with National Rail (North London Line) and London Underground (Jubilee Line) at Canning Town. The route runs alongside the North London Line between Canning Town and Prince Regent, but otherwise the line is new construction, not using any former mainline railway infrastructure.

Map of Beckton route

[click on a station for pictures]

Poplar–Canning Town

Aspen Way viaduct, East India Bow Creek (River Lea) crossing

The Beckton extension starts at Poplar, where the station, on the Stratford route, has been rebuilt with four platforms. The route branches east from here, with the eastbound track climbing over the Stratford line on a viaduct; the city-bound track remains on the flat. The line quickly ramps up onto viaduct for the first station, at Blackwall, and continues, elevated, over the A19 Aspen Way to East India. This is an area at the fringe of Docklands which has seen some redevelopment. After East India station, the line crosses the River Lea (Bow Creek) on a new viaduct at a bend in the river, running along a thin peninusula of land to Canning Town. Here the DLR takes the upper platforms in a double-decker DLR-LUL station, which also has seperate National Rail platforms.

Canning Town–Royal Albert

east from Canning Town west from Custom House

After Canning Town, the line runs alongside the main line North London Line railway, past a junction with the City Airport route. If the DLR's Stratford–Canning Town extension plans become reality, this railway will close south of Stratford—replaced by this extension and the City Airport route, and the track and junction layout will be extensively remodelled.

east from Canning Town viaduct near Prince Regent

There are DLR stations at Royal Victoria and Custom House, the latter also having North London Line platforms. The DLR and main line railways part company just before Prince Regent station, as the North London Line dives into a tunnel which takes it under the Royal Docks to Silvertown and North Woolwich. Custom House and Prince Regent serve the vast ExCeL exhibition centre. East from Prince Regent, the DLR climbs on a viaduct over the approach road to the Connaught Crossing (a road bridge crossing the throats of the Royal Victoria and Royal Albert Docks), to a station at Royal Albert.

Royal Albert–Beckton

east from Royal Albert running along the central reservation of Royal Albert Way

From Prince Regent station the line crosses Royal Albert Way, then runs down the centre of this dual carriageway with stations at Beckton Park and Cyprus. These stations are sunken into the centre of roundabouts; on the approaches, the road ramps up and the DLR alignment dips down.

west from Gallions Reach Beckton Depot junction

After Cyprus the line crosses to the south side of the dual carriageway, swinging around a roundabout (Gallions Round) in the centre of which is a pumping station, before curving north to the elevated Gallions Reach station. For the final stretch to Beckton, the line curves back on itself the the west, terminating at a two-platform station in a residential area. There are spurs to Beckton depot, constructed on part of the former Beckton gas works.

Bank route Lewisham route Poplar depot Stratford route Poplar Blackwall East India Canning Town Royal Victoria Custom House Prince Regent Royal Albert Beckton Park Cyprus Gallions Reach Beckton Beckton depot City Airport route
 

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