The Anonymous Widower

A Trip To Barking

In A Story And A Rumour About The Gospel Oak To Barking Line, I reported on a rumour that an LO staffer had said that the electrification will be complete by June.

I think this is impossible, as according to this document on the TfL web site, the bridge at Upper Holloway station will only be completed before the end of 2017. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that the bridge must be completed before the electrification.

Surely,if the electrification is to be completed by June, then there will be evidence of construction all along the line.

Today, I went to Barking station and had a look around.

  • The GOBlin terminates in Platform 1 at Barking station and there is no evidence of any construction there.
  • There was no evidence of piling between Barking station and the short length of electrification between Barking and Woodgrange Park station.
  • There was also no evidence of any work tro create supports for the catenary on the elevated section of the line between Woodgrange Park and Leyton Midland Road stations.

On a quick look too, there didn’t appear to be any construction cabins, that would be normal for such an undertaking, as electrifyimg a dozen miles of railway..

I then had a think about the objectives of all the work on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

  • Replace the two car Class 172 diesel multiple units with four-car Class 710 electric multiple units.
  • Allow freight trains to be hauled by electric locomotives.
  • Extend the line to Barking Riverside.

This map from shows the lines at Barking station.

Lines At Barking Station

Lines At Barking Station

Note the following.

  • The GOBlin (orange)  terminates in the bay platform 1, on the North side of the station.
  • Freight trains to and from London Gateway, Tilbury and the East, go through the two Barking Tilbury Line junctions and then access the GOBlin using a flyover and the Barking Station junction.
  • Barking Riverside station is on a spur off the Tilbury Line to the South East.

So I asked myself, what electrification needs to be done to get electric-hauled freight trains off and on the GOBlin.

As c2c runs electric services in and out of Liverpool Street at certain times, I suspect that the wiring to get electric-hauled freight onto the GOBlin is already there.

So we’re left with the only electrification at Barking being platform 1 and the extension to Barking Riverside. The total length is probably under ten kilometres.

According to Bombardier, all Aventra trains like the Class 710 will have an energy storage capability.

So could we be seeing an extension to Barking Riverside like this?

  • Between Barking Station junction and Barking Riverside station, the Class 710 trains run on their batteries.
  • Eastbound and westbound services both use Platform 1, so the GOBlin has its own single-platform at Barking. Recently, Network Rail has built several single-platform stations.
  • Platform 1 is not electrified.
  • The line through Platform 1 is extended under the station to give a direct connection to Barking Riverside. This might need another flyover or some extra points and crossings.
  • The branch line to Barking Riverside and the station are not electrified.

Effectively, using the IPEMU capability of the Class 710 trains, has simplified the project and reduced the length of electrification required by a large amount.

Whilst I was at Barking station, I took this picture.

A Protected Conductor Rail At Barking Station

A Protected Conductor Rail At Barking Station

Note how the conductor rail is protected by a yellow wooden shield.


Is it to protect passengers or the work-force?



January 23, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,


  1. Usually at stations with third rail it is arranged for the live rail(s) to be on the opposite side to the platform. In the photo there are platforms on both sides, so the live rail is shrouded in wood to reduce the risk to anyone falling onto the track..

    Comment by Mark Clayton | January 23, 2016 | Reply

  2. Thanks for that! I’ve never seen it before!

    Comment by AnonW | January 23, 2016 | Reply

  3. On occasion, the trains that run the GOBLIN get routed into the Grays line platforms (7 and 8 I think) for “Route Knowledge” or something like that, so I guess they could use that platform and not bother electrifying platform 1, although I don’t know if that would mess up C2C’s schedule a bit. They don’t run trains that often on the Grays line, do they? In any case, if this electrification does get done in the Summer I will be extremely happy! 😀

    Comment by Joshua | January 23, 2016 | Reply

    • I have no knowledge of what will actually happen, but all the proposals were put together before battery trains were proven to work.

      I feel that as all the Class 710 trains will have the capability to have energy storage, that those designing the line could use the technology to both save money and create less disruption during the works.

      In the Barking area, the Class 710 trains with their batteries, will be able to go anywhere a diesel can.

      We live in interesting times.

      And you will be even happier than you think!

      Comment by AnonW | January 24, 2016 | Reply

  4. The line through Platform 1 is extended under the station to give a direct connection to Barking Riverside. This might need another flyover or some extra points and crossings.

    The flyover from Goblin to Grays already exists for freight service, Riverside service uses Platforms 7 & 8.
    Platform 1 remains for service balancing, early/lates, peaks, short termination.

    Comment by Aleks2cv | December 16, 2017 | Reply

  5. Interesting French website link. Thanks

    Comment by yamey | June 25, 2019 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.