The DLR branch from Poplar was opened on 28 March 1994. The next station is Gallions Reach, but between the two stations the line curves through 180 degrees, such that westbound trains for Central London depart Beckton heading east. Beckton station is actually located north of, and slightly further west than, Cyprus, the station after Gallions Reach. Trains from Beckton depart for Tower Gateway usually, although there are occasional departures to Bank.
Beckton DLR depot, the principal depot for the DLR system, is located between Beckton and Gallions Reach stations, but is actually closer to the latter.
Like all open-air DLR stations, Beckton is unmanned and tickets are bought at the ticket machines. New machines were installed in January 2009 that now allow Oyster card users to top-up their pre-pay balance and see their journey history. During 2007–2008, a new bus station was constructed directly opposite the DLR station. This opened in the first week of November 2008.
When the London Docks and Beckton Gasworks were active, they were served by a railway system. A separate station known as Beckton existed on this earlier network, several hundred yards east of Beckton DLR station, until its closure in December 1940.
1977 plans for phase three of the Jubilee Line showed Beckton as a proposed eastern terminus, although these plans were never fulfilled.