The Anonymous Widower

Don’t Mention Electrification!

This page on the Transport for London web site,  is the main page for the Barking Riverside Extension.

This is a simple description of the project from the page.

The extension – which includes 1.6km of new track – is one of several transport measures designed to serve the emerging development area at Barking Riverside.

Like many other documents concerning this project, there is no mention of electrification or electric trains on the page.

It’s not just Transport for London documents either.

This article on the Construction Enquirer is entitled £260m Barking Overground Extension Down To Three.

The article talks about three contractors in the short list, but again there is no mention of electrification.

When I read the original specification for the extension, electric trains were mentioned, but there was no mention of electrification.


  • All Aventras are wired for on-board electrical storage.
  • The Barking Riverside Extension is only 1.5 km long.
  • The area of the extension has some very large electricity pylons, that the extension has to dodge through.
  • If the line is extended under the Thames, it would be cheaper to build a tunnel for third rail, as it will connect to third-rail lines on the South Bank.
  • There must be substantial savings by not putting up overhead wires.
  • A safer and more reliable railway in extreme weather.

I shall keep digging on this one!

Class 710 Trains And The Barking Riverside Extension – Added 28th August 2019

Now that Class 710 trains are finally in service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, I feel able to speculate on how they will be used on the extension.

The Class 710 trains have the following specification.

  • Four cars
  • Ability to work on 25 KVAC overhead or 750 VDC thyird-rail electrification.
  • Space for batteries or supercapacitors.
  • I believe these trains can use the electricity in the energy storage as a power source.

How much energy storage capacity will be needed?

This gives the following.

Acceleration to a cruise speed of 60 mph would need 22.1 kWh.

Out and back to Barking Riverside station would need 2 x 4 x 3 = 24 kWh

With contribution from regenerative braking, a single bus-sized 60 kWh battery might allow Class 710 trains to go to Barking Riverside station and return, without any electrification.

There is also the complication of a possible Thamesmead Extension Scheme, which would have a tunnel under the Thames.

As this would connect to Abbey Wood station, I suspect that to electrify the section South of Barking Riverside station using 750 VDC third-rail.

The Class 710 trains would handle this with no problems.

I can still see no point to spend money putting up any new electrification North of Barking Riverside station, if the Class 710 trains can hadle the short length of track on battery power.

December 15, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. […] In Don’t Mention Electrification!, I noted that in all the documents for the extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line to Barking Riverside, there is no mention of electrification, although electric trains are stated to be working the route. […]

    Pingback by Bi-Mode Ate My Electrification « The Anonymous Widower | December 23, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] In Don’t Mention Electrification!, I state why I believe that the Barking Riverside Extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line could be built without electrification. […]

    Pingback by Bombardier Introduces Talent 3 Battery-Operated Train « The Anonymous Widower | September 14, 2018 | Reply

  3. […] I laid out my views in Don’t Mention Electrification!. […]

    Pingback by The Design Of Barking Riverside Station « The Anonymous Widower | February 6, 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.