Silvertown station, North Woolwich Railway
Fast-fading line in London's docklands.
Report © urban75 editor, May 2006
The penultimate station on eastern end of the North London Line, Silvertown station lies between Custom House and North Woolwich railway stations, and is served by half hourly service to Richmond.
The station was rebuilt in the 1990s and given the rather grand title of Silvertown & City Airport - I suspect it may be the least auspicious station claiming to serve an airport.
Silvertown was opened on June 19th, 1863 as part of the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway (see line history below), and had two tracks and platforms, with substantial station buildings and an elevated signal box gracing the up platform.
Now reduced to an unstaffed, single-track, one-platform station, Silvertown will be closed from September 2006, with a new DLR branch from Canning Town to Stratford International using that section of line.
To the west of the station are a pair of gates from a disused level crossing in the process of being reclaimed by nature.
The gates protected the route of the original 1847 route, which was diverted in 1855 after the construction of the Victoria Dock.
The line, known locally as the Silverton Tramway, survived to serve dockland factories and was still in use as late as 1985.
Looking east with Silvertown station in the background.
Looking westwards from near the station site. Underneath all the weeds, both railways lines remain intact!
View from the station footbridge towards Custom House. There used to be a junction with tracks departing to a high level route on the left.
Freight train climbing the 1:50 gradient from a similar viewpoint as the photo above, 1965. [Photo: Geoff Pember]
Richmond-bound Sunday afternoon train from North Woolwich pulls into a deserted Silvertown. In the background is the Tate and Lyle factory. The Silvertown Tramway tracks used to run to the right of this view.
In 1965, the station boasted two platforms, substantial buildings and an elevated signal box giving a view of the Silvertown tramway which passed behind the platform.
Silvertown station in all its one-track glory!
Looking east along the narrow platform.
Reverse view looking west.
The signage is pretty basic stuff!
Looking back on the station. To the right is the former 1887 Tate Institute, on the corner of Wythes Road and Albert Road, Silvertown.
Now boarded up, the top floor of this attractive building served as the Silvertown library between 1938-61, with the ground floor being used by the Institute, which held regular social events for Tate & Lyle employees at the factory opposite.
A similar view from nearly exactly twenty-one years ago, showing the route of the Silvertown Tramway still in use. [Photo: Ian Allan, 13 May 1985]
TOWARDS NORTH WOOLWICH
Looking across the tracks to another closed pub (only one set of tracks is still in use).
Rather fragile looking rail footbridge - note the supporting structure to the right!
Close up detail of the old iron bridge - I wonder how much longer before it vanishes?
Looking west from the footbridge towards Silvertown station.
» North Woolwich railway station