The National Rail line is one of London's oldest – the London and Greenwich Railway is reputed to be the world's first suburban railway. It was designed by former army engineer George Landmann, and promoted by entrepreneur George Walter. A massive brick viaduct with 878 arches was built to a station in Spa Road (Bermondsey), and later to London Bridge. The line opened on 8 February 1836 from Deptford, and on 29 December that year from Greenwich. Greenwich's handsome station building was designed by George Smith in 1840, making it one of the oldest station buildings in the world. Difficulties in extending the railway over land owned by the Greenwich Hospital led to the station being bypassed by through trains, but the line was extended eastwards via a cut-and-cover tunnel towards Maze Hill, opening on 1 February 1878. The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) was extended to Lewisham via Greenwich in December 1999, the new platforms lying immediately to the south of the main-line station.
Tumuli to the south-west of Flamsteed House, the Vanbrugh and Maze Hill Gates is the site of a Roman villa or temple. A small area of red paving tesserae protected by railings marks the spot. It was excavated in 1902 and 300 coins were found dating from the emperors Claudius and Honorius to the 5th century. This was excavated by the Channel 4 television programme Time Team in 1999, broadcast in 2000, and further investigations were made by the same group in 2003. The Roman road from London to Dover, Watling Street crossed the high ground to the south of Greenwich, through Blackheath. This followed the line of an earlier Celtic route from Canterbury to St Albans. As late as Henry V, Greenwich was only a fishing town, with a safe anchorage in the river. The station is in Travelcard Zones 2 and 3. It is the nearest station to the centre of Greenwich, but Cutty Sark DLR station is closer to town centre and its tourist attractions.
Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 177 serve the station, routes 180, 199 and 386 serve nearby.