Although the structure was in place in the year 1850 for the dock, it was opened in 1855 on a previously uninhabited area of the Plaistow Marshes, it was the first of the Royal Docks and the first London dock to be designed specifically to accommodate large steam ships. It was also the first to use hydraulic power to operate its machinery and the first to be connected to the national railway network via the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway section of what is now the North London Line. It was initially known as "Victoria Dock"; the prefix "Royal" was granted in 1880. The dock was an immediate commercial success, as it could easily accommodate all but the very largest steamships. By 1860, it was already taking over 850,000 tons of shipping a year – double that of the London Docks, four times that of St Katharine Docks and 70% more than the West India Dock and East India Docks combined. It was badly damaged by German bombing in World War II but experienced a resurgence in trade following the war.
The Royal Victoria station is the closest to the Emirates Airline cable car. This starts from the Royal Docks station and gives a stunning view of the River Thames and environs. It travels to Greenwich Peninsula. For more information go to the Royal Docks station on the DLR page. For car times click on the Emirates Airline link below in the Connections section. The station opened on 28 March 1994 and is named after the nearby Royal Victoria Dock. It is on the DLR's Beckton branch, in Travelcard Zone 3. National Rail's North London Line ran parallel to the DLR between Canning Town and Custom House stations until the Stratford to North Woolwich section closed on 9 December 2006. Its tracks passed close by the DLR platforms, but there were no NLL platforms although this is near the former Tidal Basin station on the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway. During 2009, as part of the Canning Town DLR flyover and the new DLR line from Canning Town to Stratford, a siding was added to the Victoria Dock Road side of the station. The Canning Town junction and flyover occupy the whole distance between Royal Victoria and Canning Town stations.
Connections: Royal Docks (Emirate Airline cable car). London Buses routes 147 and 241 and night route N551 serve the station.