The original South Quay station opened in 1987, and was a standard DLR phase 1 elevated station, subsequently extended to permit the use of 2 car trains. The station was constrained by sharp curves at both ends and could not therefore be further extended on its former site. The DLR's plans to operate 3 car trains on this line therefore included the relocation of this station some distance to the east. In 1996, near the station, the Docklands bombing killed 2 people and injured over 30. In October 2004, Transport for London announced plans to close and replace South Quay station with a station at a new location because of increased use of the Docklands Light Railway. The reason for the move is that the platforms could only accommodate two car trains. They would need to be lengthened by thirty metres for three car trains but the curves either side of the station precluded extension work.
The new station, on a straight section of track 125m to the east, opened on Monday 26 October 2009 with the old station closing on Friday 23 October. A memorial plaque at the station was unveiled in December, commemorating the victims of the 1996 bombing. It is between Crossharbour and Heron Quays stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2. South Quay station is located on the southern shore of the South Dock of the West India Docks; the current station platforms sit astride the channel connecting Millwall Dock to the West India Docks. The highrise Pan Peninsula Towers are immediately adjacent to the station. A small shopping centre, South Quay Plaza, is across the road from the station. The Hilton London Canary Wharf hotel is also close to the station. Further afield, the southern shore of the South Dock of the West India Docks to the west of the station is lined with restaurants. The South Quay Footbridge provides a connection to the Canary Wharf estate.
Connections: London Buses route D8 serves the station.