Station Name: ISLAND GARDENS (1st Site)

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 31.8.1987
Location: East side of Ferry Street - the site is now occupied by a new residential development.
Company on opening: Docklands Light Railway
Date closed to passengers: 11.1.1999
Date closed completely: 11.1.1999
Company on closing: Docklands Light Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: London
OS Grid Ref: TQ383783
Date of visit: June 1998 and 21.3.2008

Notes: Because the old Millwall viaduct was used on the approach to Island Gardens the line was only single track but on reaching the station the line splayed out into two platforms. The platform canopy's were of similar design to other DLR stations but being a terminus the station has a glass domed tower containing the lifts and stairways. The station was demolished shortly after closure and a new residential development called Equinox was completed on the site in 2006.

The decline of the docks east of London began in the early 1960's, as containerised traffic began to move overseas, and the declining UK manufacturing base shipped less and less through the docks. The opening of the Tilbury container docks, further east in Essex, sealed the fate of the docks and in 1980 control of the now almost out-of-use docks passed to the British government.

When the Jubilee line as opened between Stanmore and Charing Cross in 1979, it was supposed to be the first stage in a new cross-town tube line, stretching from Charing Cross, via Ludgate Circus, Cannon Street and Wapping, to various sites in South-East London. One option considered was Lewisham via Surrey Quays, taking over the East London line at that point; another was Thamesmead via West India Docks and Royal Docks.

Although land had been reserved for the construction of the second stage of the Jubilee Line and derelict land had been bought by London Transport in anticipation of the go-ahead, the escalating cost saw the project officially postponed indefinitely in the early 1980's.

The London Docklands Development Corporation searched for a cheaper way to provide public transport across the docks in order to stimulate regeneration. Various plans were considered and the one investigated most eagerly was a light-rail scheme. This would exploit existing former railway infrastructure and would link the West India Docks to Tower Hill and a northern terminus.

The initial line produced three termini at Tower Gateway, adjacent to Fenchurch Street Station in the City, Stratford and Island Gardens at the southern end of the Isle of Dogs, next to the Thames facing Greenwich. This was opened by the Queen on 31st August 1987.

The Island Gardens branch turned south at Poplar running through the Canary Wharf development joining the old Millwall Extension Railway (Closed in 1926) alignment at Crossharbour close to the site of the old Millwall Docks Station from where the DLR followed the course of the North Greenwich branch across the Millwall viaduct to Island Gardens which was built roughly on the site of the former North Greenwich terminus.

Shortly after the DLR opened, Lewisham Council commissioned a feasibility study of extending the DLR under the Thames to Lewisham. The line was eventually authorised, its proposed alignment left the original DLR route south of Crossharbour dropping down to a new a street level station at Mudchute, from where the new line would be built by cut and cover through Millwall Park to a new sub-surface station at Island Gardens, just east of the southern end of the Millwall viaduct. From there the line would tunnel under the Thames and on to Lewisham.

Mudchute and Island Gardens stations closed on 11th January 1999 and the Lewisham extension opened on 20th November 1999, the Millwall viaduct having lost its train service for the second time.

Source: Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia and The London Railway Record Volume 19 April 1999 - Last train from Island Gardens - Published by Connor & Butler

See also Mudchute Station and the Millwall Extension Railway terminus at
North Greenwich

Island Gardens under construction in June 1986
hoto by J. E. Connor

Island Gardens in June 1998
hoto by Nick Catford

The site of Island Gardens Station awaiting development

The site of Island Gardens Station in 2007 - a new residential development now fills the empty plot

The site of Island Gardens Stations looking north in March 2008. The residential bblock on the site of the station was completed in 2006.
hoto by Nick Catford

Last updated: Sunday, 21-May-2017 11:31:08 CEST
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