Template:For Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Limehouse station is a railway station located in the Limehouse district of east London. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and is served by Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services and by National Rail services operated by c2c out of Fenchurch Street station. On the c2c route, Limehouse is between Fenchurch Street and West Ham stations, and on the Docklands Light Railway, Limehouse is between Shadwell and Westferry stations.
The station was opened on 3 August 1840 as part of the London and Blackwall Railway,<ref name="subbrit">Template:Cite web</ref> located in the parish of Stepney within the hamlet of Ratcliff. It was named Stepney, lying between Shadwell and a completely different station called "Limehouse",<ref name="subbrit"/> located within the Limehouse parish. On 28 September 1850 an extension was opened from Stepney to Bow, to join the L&BR with the Eastern Counties Railway, with a second set of platforms (the present-day platforms 1 & 2) constructed to serve that line.<ref name="subbrit"/>
The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway was opened in 1854 and it eventually became the sole railway using the Bow platforms. The station was renamed Stepney East on 1 July 1923.<ref name="subbrit"/> The London & Blackwall Railway platforms were closed on 3 May 1926 as passenger services were withdrawn, leaving the LTSR as the only railway regularly serving the station. The L&BR platforms were demolished c. 1936<ref name="subbrit"/> and the line gradually fell into disuse.
The station remained LTSR-only for over sixty years, until the arrival of the Docklands Light Railway, which operated over the old L&BR line. The DLR opened on 31 July 1987, with new platforms (platforms 3 & 4) built on the site of the old L&BR platforms;<ref name="subbrit"/> the station had been renamed Limehouse on 11 May that year.<ref name="culg">Template:Cite web</ref> The DLR platforms were extended in 1991 to accommodate the DLR's new two-carriage trains.
Since the opening of the DLR, Limehouse has become a useful interchange for Essex commuters who work in the Canary Wharf area, but the two viaducts remained separate, resulting in an awkward interchange between the DLR platforms and the National Rail platforms, as passengers had to pass down and then up flights of stairs. To remedy this, at least in part, a bridge was built to connect the westbound c2c platform with the adjacent eastbound DLR platform. It was originally due for completion by the end of 2008, but was finally opened in November 2009. At the same time as the bridge was being built, other improvements were made, including readying the station for three carriage operations on the DLR and the construction of an additional eastern entrance, with lifts and stairways for platform access.
Limehouse station is elevated on a pair of diverging viaducts, each carrying a pair of platforms – one pair for c2c and one pair for the Docklands Light Railway. The c2c platforms have one entrance accessed via a stairwell at the western end, while the DLR platforms have entrances at both the western and eastern ends, each equipped with stairwells and lifts. The westbound c2c platform is connected to the eastbound DLR platform by a walkway bridge.
The station holds Secure Stations Scheme accreditation and bicycle racks are provided underneath the DLR platforms by the western entrance. The ticket office is located within the station building under the c2c platforms, and is managed by c2c; tickets can be retailed for National Rail services, the DLR and on Oyster card. Additional automatic ticket machines for DLR and Oyster card are located under the DLR platforms at the foot of the stairways. There are ticket barriers to the national rail platforms, but not the DLR platforms. This means the bridge between the national rail and DLR platforms has a set of barriers as well are the main ticket hall entrance.
It lies to the west of Limehouse Basin, a marina and residential complex, and the Regent's Canal. Commercial Road runs underneath the c2c platforms, while to the south lies Narrow Street and the Thames Path along the north bank of the River Thames. Nearby is the north end of the Rotherhithe Tunnel, and the western end of the Limehouse Link tunnel. London bus routes 15, 115, 135 & D3, and night routes N15, N550 and N551 all serve Limehouse station from stops sited on Commercial Road.
The typical off-peak service frequency for c2c is:
- 6 trains per hour to London Fenchurch Street.
- 2 trains per hour to Shoeburyness via Basildon.
- 2 trains per hour to Grays via Rainham
- 2 trains per hour to Southend Central via Ockendon.
The typical off-peak service frequency for DLR is:
- 15 tph to Bank
- 6 tph to Tower Gateway
- 6 tph to Beckton
- 9 tph to Lewisham
- 6 tph to Woolwich Arsenal
- Limehouse on the DLR website
- Limehouse on the c2c website
- National Rail website - Limehouse on the National Rail website
- More photographs of the DLR station