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London and Blackwall Railway facts for kids

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London Limehouse Blackwall
Original bridge at Limehouse on the London and Blackwall Railway. It now carries a branch of the Docklands Light Railway

The London and Blackwall Railway (L&BR) in East London, England, ran from Minories to Blackwall via Stepney, with a branch line to the Isle of Dogs. It was originally called the Commercial Railway. It connected central London to many of London's docks.


The railway opened in 1840. It was leased by the Great Eastern Railway in 1866, but remained independent until it was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the 1923 Grouping. Passenger services ceased in 1926 and goods services ceased in 1968. The decline of inner London's docks led to closure.

Other railways

In 1852 the North London Railway linked up with the L&BR at Poplar. In 1871 another branch line, the Millwall Extension Railway, opened from Millwall Junction to Millwall Docks to serve the West India Docks better. A year later the line was extended to North Greenwich.


Much of the infrastructure of the L&BR was re-used as part of the Docklands Light Railway, which opened on 31 August 1987.

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