Stratford station was opened on 20 June 1839 by the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) with the first station building being located on Angel Lane which crossed the line on an over-bridge to the east of the station. The Northern and Eastern Railway opened a section of its authorised line from Broxbourne to join the ECR at Stratford on 15 September 1840. By 1855 there were links from both the low and high-level stations to the North London Line as well as a spur that enabled trains from Liverpool Street to North Woolwich to avoid Stratford altogether (although this served Stratford Market station) which was a short distance away. Central Line services started on 4 December 1946, extended from Liverpool Street station in new tunnels after being delayed due to the Second World War. The Docklands Light Railway opened on 31 August 1987 reusing redundant rail routes through the Bow and Poplar areas to reach the new Docklands developments on the Isle of Dogs. In April 2009 the North London Line platforms at Stratford moved to newly built high-level platforms 1 & 2 from the original low-level platforms 1 & 2, freeing the old platforms for the DLR's Stratford International service which opened in August 2011. After rebuilding the old platforms reopened as platforms 16 and 17.
The station layout is extremely complex. Platforms 3, 3A and 6 are used by the Central line. Platforms 3 and 6 are island platforms providing cross-platform interchange with the local "Shenfield metro" trains operating from platforms 5 and 8 respectively, while platform 3A has a direct step-free connection at mezzanine level, facilitating easier interchange with Jubilee line trains on platforms 13 to 15 and DLR trains on platforms 4A and 4B. Westbound Central line trains travelling towards central London open doors on both sides so that passengers can alight and board trains from either side, reducing dwell times and peak-hour congestion in the passageways. From the 1980s platform 4 was used as the terminus of the DLR while platform 7 remained abandoned. In 2007 platform 4 was abandoned again as the DLR moved to two new platforms to the south of platform 4, though these are signposted as "platform 4" within the station. Platforms 4A and 4B (signposted as "platform 4") are used by the DLR for services to Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Lewisham. They are formed of an island platform, and are not accessed by the subways but through a separate entrance on the upper level of the main concourse. The station has cash machines, Euro cash machines, lifts, escalators, wi-fi, payphones and boarding ramps.
Connections: National Rail. Central, Jubilee Lines. London Overground. London Buses routes 25, 69, 86, 97, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 425, 473, 678 and D8 as well as night buses N8, N86, N205 serve the station.