The London Overground section of the station was closed between 2007 and 27 April 2010 for rebuilding, initially reopening for a preview service on 27 April 2010 with the full service starting on 23 May 2010. In the near future, Whitechapel will become a station on the Crossrail route. The station is in Zone 2.
On 6 October 1884 the District Railway (DR, now the District line) opened a new station adjacent to the deeper ELR station as the terminus of an extension from Mansion House (part of the extension also formed the final section of the Circle line). The new station was given the name Whitechapel (Mile End). The ELR passenger service between Whitechapel and Liverpool Street was withdrawn in 1885. The station received its present name on 13 November 1901.
The MR also ran trains over the southern section of ELR via a connection (the St Mary's curve) between the DR tracks west of Whitechapel and the ELR tracks north of Shadwell station. When, in 1913, the tracks of the ELR were electrified it ended services to the DR station and extended its ELR service through Whitechapel to Shoreditch (then the terminus of the line but now closed) The change of service took place on 31 March 1913.
On 30 March 1936 the Metropolitan line began operating again through the District line station as far as Barking. The Metropolitan line service is now operated as the Hammersmith & City line.
On 25 March 1995, during the construction of the Jubilee Line Extension, the East London Line was closed to allow repair works on the Thames Tunnel. General renovations and new signalling works were undertaken at the same time. The line reopened south from Whitechapel on 25 March 1998 and north from Whitechapel on 27 September 1998.
Throughout its life Whitechapel has been used extensively as an eastern terminus, however from the timetable change in December 2009 trains reverse at Plaistow instead of Whitechapel. This is due to operational changes related to the construction work to build one large island platform.
In early 2015, due to no Hammersmith and City and Circle lines services between Edgware Road and Aldgate East/Tower Hill, a revised Circle line service operated between Edgware Road and Barking (via Victoria). This was due to track, drainage replacement and station works at Euston Square, Moorgate and Liverpool Street. This was the first time a regular Circle line service had called at Whitechapel.
Underground over Overground - an eastbound Underground train departs from Whitechapel in 2012 over the northbound London Overground train.
The station used to have six platforms in open cuttings north of Whitechapel Road. The Hammersmith & City and District lines had two eastbound and two westbound (although trains could have reversed back in the opposite direction from any platform during times of disruption or engineering work). There was a siding alongside the platform 4 track accessed from the east side of the station which could accept either 6 car C or D stock train. The East London line (now part of London Overground) has one northbound and one southbound platform. They are sited at the eastern end of the station and are in a deeper cutting.
In September 2011 the track was permanently removed from platforms 2, 3, and 4. Platform 4 has been extended over the trackbed and westbound trains use the route of the old siding which has been connected to the main line at the western end to provide a through route. This platform is renumbered platform 2. Trailing crossovers are provided at each end of the station. The two island platforms will be combined to form one large island platform with a central circulating area. Escalators will eventually lead down from here to the Crossrail platforms. A new double-ended centre reversing siding has been constructed beyond West Ham to compensate for the loss of reversing facilities from Whitechapel. Since December 2009 Hammersmith & City line trains have not been scheduled to reverse at Whitechapel. Outside peak hours they currently reverse alternately at Plaistow and Barking.
The St Mary's curve connection between the District line track and the East London Line was used for passenger traffic until 1941 but was subsequently only used to transfer empty trains to and from the other sub-surface lines. The curve was often lit and could easily be seen from the left-hand side of East London Line trains entering Whitechapel station from the south, prior to refurbishment of the East London line commencing late December 2007. The points on the District line, connecting it to the curve, were removed in summer 2008. Also just west of Whitechapel is the former St Mary's station, one of the many closed London Underground stations.
This is the typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph). During peak times trains also operate to Wimbledon. During off-peak times, 3 tph from Wimbledon terminate at Barking (as of December 2014).
12 tph eastbound to Upminster (On Sundays alternate trains run to Barking only)
In preparation for the extension of the East London Line to Dalston Junction and Highbury & Islington, the line north of Whitechapel to Shoreditch was closed on 9 June 2006. Services to Shoreditch had previously been run during peak hours and Sunday mornings only and services were replaced by a bus link.
Work on the extension of the East London Line commenced and the line closed on 22 December 2007 and reopened on 27 April 2010 when tracks on a new alignment were connected to a disused North London Line viaduct from Shoreditch to Dalston and is now part of the London Overground network. Temporary bus services operated during the closure, of which rail replacement route ELW remained in service until the ELL fully opened on 23 May 2010.
Crossrail will call at Whitechapel in the near future. Eastbound services will be split into two branches after leaving the station. Preliminary work has begun to create the interchange between Crossrail and the East London Line with subways being constructed. The Crossrail platforms will lie to the north of the existing station, with access being via escalators down from the District and Hammersmith & City line platforms.