The area is named for the Galyons, a 14th-century family who owned property along this stretch of the river, it has nothing to do with galleons (the sailing vessels). In 1878 Gallions Reach was the scene of the Thames’ worst ever disaster, when the Princess Alice pleasure steamer sank with the loss of more than 600 lives. Construction of a line from Custom House to Gallions was authorised by the parliamentary act that also approved the construction of the Royal Albert Dock, and the branch was opened by the London & St. Katharine Docks Company on 3 August 1880. There were two commercial reasons for building the branch: firstly the size of the docks necessitated a transport link to enable the business of the dock and commuting to and from the docks to be carried out; secondly Albert Dock handled passengers and easier passenger access to the quays were required for ships that left to all parts of the British Empire. This was why a hotel was built adjacent to the first station which is mentioned in the book The light that failed by Rudyard Kipling (who stayed at the hotel) where the hero asks a P&O clerk, "Is it Tilbury and a tender or Gallions and the dock?".
Gallions Reach shopping park occupies part of the gasworks site where Stanley Kubrick filmed the Vietnam scenes for Full Metal Jacket and James Bond dispatched Blofeld down a chimney in For Your Eyes Only. The station is located on the DLR's Beckton branch, between Cyprus and Beckton stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 3. The platforms have not been extended to accommodate 3-car trains, and although metal catwalks have been installed, these are too narrow for non-emergency use and Selective Door Operation is used instead. The crossover east of the station which is usually used for trains from the west going to Beckton DLR depot, can also be used for trains from Beckton and Poplar to reverse.
Connections: London Buses routes 101, 262, 366, 376, 474 and 678 and night route N551 serve the station.