Notes: Mudchute Station was sited on a new section of concrete viaduct at the north end of the old Millwall Extension Railway viaduct. Demolition of the station started a few days after closure.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY & ITS ISLAND GARDENS LINE
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 Island Gardens Station and the Millwall Extension Railway terminus at