Whitechapel station was originally opened in 1876 when the East London Railway (ELR, now the East London Line) was extended north from Wapping to Liverpool Street station. The ELR owned the tracks and stations but did not operate trains. From the beginning various railway companies provided services through Whitechapel including the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR), the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) and the South Eastern Railway (SER). Later the Great Eastern Railway (GER) added services. On 6 October 1884 the District Railway (DR, now the District line) opened a new station adjacent to the deeper ELR station as the terminus of an extension from Mansion House (part of the extension also formed the final section of the Circle line). The new station was given the name Whitechapel (Mile End). The ELR passenger service between Whitechapel and Liverpool Street was withdrawn in 1885. The station received its present name on 13 November 1901.
The station used to have six platforms in open cuttings north of Whitechapel Road. In September 2011 the track was permanently removed from platforms 2, 3, and 4. Platform 4 has been extended over the trackbed and westbound trains use the route of the old siding which has been connected to the main line at the western end to provide a through route. This platform is renumbered platform 2. Trailing crossovers are provided at each end of the station. The two island platforms will be combined to form one large island platform with a central circulating area. Escalators will eventually lead down from here to the Crossrail platforms. Nearby places of interest include the Royal London Hospital, the Blind Beggar public house, and the former Wickhams department store. There are also many tours in this area focusing on the Jack the Ripper murders. There are payphones
Connections: London Overground. Hammersmith & City Line. London Bus routes 25, 106, 205, 254 and D3, and night routes N205 and N253 serve the station.