Woolwich Arsenal station

Woolwich Arsenal station is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) paired interchange station in the heart of Woolwich in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It has two parts. Its raised, south-western part is on the semi-slow, commuter service, corollary of the North Kent Line and also in its Dartford Loop services section between London and Dartford, run by Southeastern. Regular services beyond Dartford are to the Medway Towns, which start/finish in the opposite direction at Luton via the City of London, West Hampstead and St Albans. Its other part is the terminus of its own branch of the DLR, run by Transport for London.

Woolwich Arsenal
Woolwich Arsenal
Location of Woolwich Arsenal in Greater London
Local authorityRoyal Borough of Greenwich
Managed bySoutheastern
Station codeWWA
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms4 (2 underground platforms served by DLR)
Fare zone4
DLR annual boardings and alightings
2012 8.789 million[3]
2013 9.474 million[4]
2014 10.800 million[4]
2015 12.668 million[4]
2016 14.684 million[5]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14 3.551 million[6]
2014–15 3.572 million[6]
2015–16 3.696 million[6]
2016–17 3.648 million[6]
2017–18 3.849 million[6]
Key dates
1 November 1849Opened
12 January 2009DLR opened
Other information
External links
WGS8451.490°N 0.069°E / 51.490; 0.069
London transport portal

The modernist, but older, part of the station is on a corner of General Gordon Square, a green town square. The newer part has entrances to Woolwich's subterranean end of the DLR, and faces the top of Powis Street, a long, semi-pedestrianised retail avenue. It is named after the area's Woolwich or Royal Arsenal due to the district's former leading ordnance base (divided into civil and military branches) which were complemented before the 19th century with wharves and yards for large naval ships.[7] In zoning it is the furthest DLR station in Travelcard Zone 4.

On the national network, it is 9 miles 32 chains (15.1 km) down from London Charing Cross.


The station opened in 1849, serving the North Kent Line from London to Gillingham. The station building was rebuilt in 1906 in a London brick form typical of southeast London. It was again rebuilt in 1992-93 to a modern design in steel and glass by the Architecture and Design Group of British Rail, under the leadership of Nick Derbyshire. It has a, clean, naturally-lit ellipsoid theme, contrasting with the earlier forms.

In 1973 a government report on the redevelopment of London's Docklands projected a greater form of the never-built "Fleet line" from Charing Cross via Fenchurch Street to Woolwich Arsenal and on towards Thamesmead, with a preceding stop at Silvertown. The Fleet line plans were shelved in favour of a route that became the western part of the Jubilee line. Council (local government)-approved however in 1980, finances meant that the Fleet line was never built.[8] By the start of the 1990s plans emerged in both levels of government and business forums for the Jubilee Line Extension to serve the south bank of the Thames twice on its way to Stratford. In the Royal Borough of Greenwich the line takes in a small area, North Greenwich (a peninsula).

Woolwich Arsenal was expanded in 2009, when Transport for London completed the construction of an extension of what was then termed the London City Airport branch of the Docklands Light Railway from King George V to Woolwich Arsenal. The official opening took place on 12 January 2009.

In 2014, a petition was started and presented to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to rezone Woolwich Arsenal station from Zone 4 to Zone 3. However he ruled this out, stating it would cause losses of over a million pounds a year.[9]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 18 November 1948, a train an electric multiple unit crashed into the rear of another train, killing two people. It had departed from Woolwich Dockyard against signals.[10]


The National Rail part of the station consists of two above-ground platforms. The up platform for London has a refreshment facility. The down platform serves trains going east, towards north Kent, via Plumstead, Abbey Wood and Slade Green.

The Docklands Light Railway part of the station is underground, and consists of two platforms in an island platform configuration. As Woolwich Arsenal is a terminus, both platforms serve an up line to Bank or Stratford International via London City Airport and Canning Town. Trains depart in the eastbound direction due to the curve under the River Thames.


London Buses routes 51, 53, 54, 96, 99, 122, 161, 178, 244, 291, 380, 386, 422, 469 and 472 and night route N1 serve the station.

Crossrail station at the former Royal Arsenal base

A Crossrail station is to be opened in north-east Woolwich, after a campaign to complement housing developments on public sector land. Among the successful lobbyists for this extra station were those who developed the land, including Berkeley Homes. It will be about 200m north of the main station on the north side of the A206 road.


The typical off-peak service from the station is:



Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

  • Every ten minutes to and from Bank, using 3-car trains on Mondays to Fridays. In the peak: every eight minutes.
  • At the above frequency, separately, to and from Stratford International station.
    • This results in 12 off-peak services an hour and 18 in the peak to and from the start of the branch: Canning Town station.[11]


  1. Tube Map
  2. "Southeastern: Access Guide". Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  3. Transport for London (12 February 2013). "Freedom of Information DLR usage 1213". Transport for London. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  4. "Up-to-date DLR entry/exit statistics for each station" (XLSX). What Do They Know. Transport for London. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  5. "Passenger Numbers - Docklands Light Railway Limited" (XLSX (after downloading zip)). What Do They Know. Transport for London. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  6. "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  7. Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Woolwich', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 1 (Canterbury, 1797), pp. 441-454. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol1/pp441-454 [accessed 2 September 2018].
  8. Horne, Mike (2000). The Jubilee Line. Capital Transport. pp. 50–52. ISBN 1-85414-220-8.
  9. "Boris Johnson rejects popular petition to rezone Woolwich Arsenal station". News Shopper. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  10. Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 108. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0.
  11. "DLR frequencies". Transport for London. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
Preceding station   DLR   Following station
Docklands Light RailwayTerminus
National Rail
Woolwich Dockyard   Southeastern
North Kent Line
Charlton   Thameslink
North Kent Line
  Abandoned Plans  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Stanmore
Jubilee line
Phase 3 (1980) (never constructed)
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