The station opened in 1920 on the Ealing Broadway extension of the Central London Railway (CLR), which was renamed the Central line in 1937. On 18 August 1911, the Central London Railway had abandoned its policy of no through running with any other railway, and secured powers to build a short extension from Wood Lane to connect with the intended Ealing & Shepherds Bush line of the Great Western Railway (GWR), over which it proposed to exercise running powers. The new line was built with connections to the West London Line near Shepherd's Bush, the former GWR mainline to Birmingham at North Acton, and the mainline to Bristol at Ealing Broadway. Anciently, East Acton and Acton developed as separate settlements and the nearby districts of North Acton, West Acton and South Acton were developed in the late nineteenth century. The hamlet of East Acton, mentioned in 1294, consisted of farmhouses and cottages north and south of common land known as East Acton green by 1474.
Acton's name derives from the Old English words āc (oak) and tūn (farm), meaning "oak farm" or "farm by oak trees". East Acton was mentioned frequently in the classic 1950s radio comedy series the Goon Show, as the Goons used to rehearse in a room over a greengrocers in East Acton. The station has recently been refurbished, with the staircases improved and the "East Acton" Underground roundels replaced with larger, newer versions. Next to the station the trackbed, overgrown now, for the GWR freight trains can still be seen. The station has payphones and a waiting room.
Connections: London Buses route 7, 70, 72, 228, 272 and 283 serve the station.