The station was first opened on 1 November 1865 by the North London Railway on its "City Extension" from the North London Line to Broad Street in the City of London. It had three island platforms with four through lines joining the west side of the North London line, and two joining the east. The station had no overall roof. The line to Broad Street and the station closed on 27 June 1986. However, the location at the corner of Kingsland High Street and Dalston Lane retained the name Dalston Junction on road and bus signs throughout the period that the station was closed. The name Dalston is thought to have derived from Deorlaf's tun (farm) in much the same way as nearby Hoxton was named after the farm of "Hoch". The first written record available is from 1294 when the name was written as Derleston. The gentrification of the area has led to a rapid increase in the price of property. The process of change was accelerated by the East London line extension, now part of London Overground. The reopening of Dalston Junction Station on this extension was part of London's successful bid to hold the 2012 Olympics.
In the first phase of the extension of the East London Line, Dalston Junction was the temporary northern terminus for all trains. From 28 February 2011 to 9 December 2012, trains from West Croydon and Crystal Palace continued beyond Dalston Junction, taking the relaid west curve north of the station to Highbury & Islington. As stated above, Dalston Junction still remains a terminal for New Cross trains, using the two bay platforms in the middle of the station. Transport for London and Hackney London Borough Council are currently developing the extensive station site with a bus interchange and high-rise towers above the new station. On 6 December 2012, The Co-operative Food opened a branch, located left of the station's main entrance. The new station has two platform islands, the outer sides of each providing through services, the inner bay faces supporting terminating services. Although the route eastward at the north end of the station has been protected it would require substantial reconstruction first. The entire station is covered by a new building. The East London Line runs on platforms 1 (Highgate) and 2 - 4 (Southwards). The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and has wi-fi, lifts, and help points but no toilets.
Connections: London Overground (South London Line). London Buses routes 30, 38, 56, 277 and 488 and night buses N38 serve the station.