The Anonymous Widower

Barking Riverside Extension – 24th June 2019

I took these pictures, where the arking Riverside Extension will turn off to the East of Renwick Road bridge.

It looks like the piles are going in and there is a lot of catenary renewal.

I think that this project could be on time.

June 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

TfL Mulls DLR And Overground Extensions To Thamesmead

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

Overground

TfL’s plan for the Overground would appear to be an extension under or over the River Thames to a single station at Thamesmead and a possible connection to the North Kent Line at Plumstead, Abbey Wood or Belvedere stations.

DLR

The plan for the DLR involves more stations, including a possible one on the North Bank of the Thames. It also serves a proposed massive Peabody housing development, which will provide up to 11,500 new homes.

What Goes East Must Go West

Nothing is said in Ian’s report about train services to Thamesmead.

Overground

On the Overground, there will be four trains per hour (tph) between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside stations.

There are problems with increasing frequency and capacity, which could be necessary.

  • The terminus at Gospel Oak station is only a single platform.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line is used by an increasing amount of electrically-haled freight trains.
  • There is little space on the line for an additional bay platform to turn trains.
  • Trains can’t continue along the North London Line at Gospel Oak, as that line is busy as well.

The only alternative Western terminals are.

  • Barking – A bay platform could possibly be squeezed in.
  • Enfield Town – Sounds crazy, but there is a chord between Seven Sisters and South Tottenham stations.
  • Fenchurch Street – Busy and possibly could be made larger with redevelopment.
  • Liverpool Street – Busy and only a slight possibility.

There would also need to be platform lengthening to incorporate trains that are longer than four cars.

Although, it might be possible to run five-car trains using selective door opening on the last car.

DLR

Currently, the DLR has a Peak service of 7.5 tph between Tower Gateway and Becton calling at Shadwell, Limehouse, Westferry, Poplar, Blackwall, East India, Canning Town, Royal Victoria, Custom House, Prince Regent, Royal Albert, Beckton Park, Cyprus, Gallions Reach.

The extension to Thamesmead would branch off around Gallions Reach and the current service has the following connections.

  • Shadwell – London Overground
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line
  • Royal Victoria – Emirates Air-Line
  • Custom House – Crossrail

Will there be enough capacity on this section of the DLR?

  • Tower Gateway is a single-platform station and would need to be upgraded to handle more than 7.5 tph.
  • Thirty tph run through Shadwell, Limeshouse and Westferry station in the Peak.
  • Can stations be lengthened to use longer trains?

It does look to me that the only way to increase capacity would be to extend the DLR to the West, as I outlined in The Bank Station Upgrade And The Western Extension Of The DLR.

This map from TfL shows the possible extension.

What would be the cost of this extension?

Conclusion

The logic and economics of extending either the Overground or the DLR to Thamesmead are sound for that area of South-East London, but does The Mayor have the budget to complete the other end of the transport links?

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Junction Between The Barking Riverside Extension And The Tilbury Line

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the route of the Barking Riverside Extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and how it connects to the c2c lines between Barking and Tilbury.

 

 

One big advantage is that the two c2c lines between Barking and Tilbury, go either side of the Barking Freightliner Terminal.

  • The Down Tilbury Line between Platform 7 at Barking station and Dagenham Dock station goes around the Northern side.
  • The Up Tilbury Line to Platform 8 at Barking station goes around the Southern side.

This is extremely convenient, as there is plenty of space between c2c’s busy tracks to build the flyover.

If you want to get a better look, click on the map and this will give you a larger image on which you can follow the two tracks from Dagenham Dock station.

This second map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the complicated tracks to the West of the Freightliner Terminal.

The Renwick Road bridge goes North-South over the tracks. I appears to cross, at the point, where the Stora sidings join the East-West track.

Note how the two new tracks connect the flyover to tracks that connect to Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking station.

This is a Google Map which shows where the Renwick Road bridge crosses the tracks.

The two new tracks will need to be squeezed under Renwick Road.

I took these pictures on a walk down Renwick Road, just to the South of the bridge, that takes the road over the railway lines.

Unfortunately, most of Renwick Road is surrounded by high concrete walls.

But as these pictures show, there is quite a large amount of land crossed by a few sparse railway lines.

I then took a train between Barking and Rainham stations and was able to take a few pictures of work in the area of the proposed viaduct, which will go over the freight terminal.

The red train was parked on theStora  sidings at the top of the second map.

The top four pictures were taken going to Rainham station and the bottom four were taken coming back.

Tilbury Down Line Train-By

These pictures were taken from a train going to Grays station on the Tilbury Down Line.

The last two picture show the Renwick Road bridge and the vehicle ramp leading to the freight terminal.

The Design Of The Viaduct

It looks to me, that two new tracks will do the following.

  • Start to the West of Renwick Road bridge, with connections that take them to Platforms 7 (Down) and 8 (Up) at Barking station..
  • Go through the safeguarded site of the future Renwick Road station and under Renwick Road.
  • Climb on a viaduct, that will lift them over the freight terminal and the lines to Tilbury and continue to Barking Riverside.

It could be a spectacular ride.

Renwick Road Station

I walked to the Renwick Road bridge from the Renwick Road bus stop on the 173 bus from Dagenham Heathway station.

It was about four hundred metres along broken pavements and in freezing cold, but dry weather.

So a Renwick Road station will be appreciated by those, who live and/or work in the area.

Wikipedia says this about Renwick Road station.

The station would lie east of the proposed merge / diverge points with the Essex Thameside (Tilbury Loop Line) line along which c2c services operate, so whilst the station would not provide an interchange with the aforementioned c2c services, nor would the station’s construction disrupt those services. The new station could generate 5,000 homes.

This Google Map shows the land to the West of Renwick Road bridge.

Note.

  1. The Stora siding at the top, where the red train was parked.
  2. The Down Tilbury Line going West-East towards the top of the map and connected to the sidings.
  3. The three lines towards the bottom of the map are currently the Down Goods, Up Goods and Up Tilbury

It could be that Network Rail could have decided  to put the new Renwick Road station in the ample space between the lines.

The station could be very simple.

  • A single island platform between the two tracks.
  • The tracks could be generously spaced to allow a wide platform.
  • The platform would have shelters and perhaps a coffee stall.
  • The platform would be linked by stairs and a lift to Renwick Road.

It could certainly be built without disrupting c2c services.

Travelling Between Fenchurch Street And Renwick Road Stations

According to the Wikipedia extract, I included earlier, Renwick Road station, will not have a direct service to Fenchurch Street station.

Renwick Road station will be served by at least four London Overground trains per hour (tph) all day between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside stations.

Currently, c2c provide the following services between Fenchurch Street and Grays station.

  • Four tph in the Peak
  • Two tph in the Off Peak

It is also planned that both services will share Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking station.

So passengers from Renwick Road and Barking Riverside stations wanting to go to London will get off a train on Platform 8 at Barking station and wait for the first c2c service to Fenchurch Street station.

I would also suspect that c2c will increase the Off Peak service to match the frequency of the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside service.

Beam Park Station

Beam Park station is another new station planned for the area.

  • It will be between Dagenham Dock and Rainham stations.
  • It will be built to serve three thousand new houses.

This station will make it more likely that c2c will run four tph between Fenchurch Street and Grays stations.

Travelling Between Grays And Barking Riverside Stations

This will require a change at Barking station.

This change would be a walk across the island platform 7/8, which would be step-free.

Conclusion

Train services along the Thames from Barking to Grays are going to get a lot better.

 

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Design Of Barking Riverside Station

The information is coming together about the new Barking Riverside station.

Wikipedia

The Wikipedia entry at the moment is not very information, but it does say that the station has two platforms.

Location

This map from Transport for London, shows the location of the station.

The location of Barking Riverside station is at the end of the branch line that comes South from the Barking to Tilbury Line.

As it is a long term ambition of Transport for London to extend the railway under the River to Abbey Wood station, the North-South orientation of the station is probably important.

carto.metro.free.fr

This map from carto.metro.free.fr gives the layout of Barking Riverside station and the tracks leading to it.

It shows two tracks leading to a two-platform station, with a crossover to allow both platforms to be used.

The Architect’s Visualisations

These are available on this page on the Moxon Architect’s web site.

This is the first visualisation on the site.

It shows the end view of the station and as no railway lines are visible, I assume that it is looking North, so the River Thames is behind the viewer and Renwick Road is on the left.

This is the second visualisation.

It shows the station looking from the East towards Renwick Road. Note the bus in both images.

As at Hackney Wick station, there is an underpass, so the station is not a barrier to pedestrians.

The seventh visualisation shows the station from above.

It only shows one platform in the image, as do other visualisations.

Is It A Single Platform Station?

Is this the way the station will be built or is it just to make the visualisation simpler?

A single platform station should be able to handle six trains per hour (tph).

  • This year, this frequency will be implemented between single platforms at Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace stations on the Overground.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line will have a maximum frequency of five tph in the Peak.
  • The infrastructure and the trains will all be brand new and use the best technology.

So it looks like a single platform station should be able to handle the planned number of trains for the simple  extension to Barking Riverside station.

Will There Be Electrification?

This is the fifth visualisation.

It clearly shows gantries for overhead wires.

But it appears that only one platform is there.

I have thought for some time, that the Barking Riverside Extension could be built without electrification and battery/electric trains could be used.

I laid out my views in Don’t Mention 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 also repeated my views in an article in Rail Magazine, which I described in I’ve Been Published In Rail Magazine.

No-one has told me that they disagree with my views.

So why are electrification gantries shown?

  • Transport for London or Network Rail don’t believe that battery/electric trains are possible. This is unlikely, as battery/electric trains have been successfully demonstrated in the UK and elsewhere, and ordered for Wales and Liverpool.
  • Obviously, there has to be a backstop if conventional electric trains have to be used. So, provision is being made to electrify the extension.
  • The single platform is electrified, so that a battery/electric train can be fully-charged before it returns towards Barking and Gospel Oak.

If before the station is built, it is decided that electrification is not needed, the overhead wires can be omitted from the construction phase.

I do feel though, we will know more about the performance and reliability of battery/electric trains in a few years, and we will alter the designs of overhead electrification accordingly.

Extending Across The River

The station has been built to enable extension to Abbey Wood station on the other side of the Thames.

There are probably several designs that would fit with the current station.

The simplest is probably to install a second platform and connect both to a tunnel under the river or a bridge over the river.

This would have several disadvantages.

  • A lot of the station would need to be demolished.
  • The train service to Barking Riverside station might have to be stopped for several months, during construction.
  • All services would have to cross the river.

A better option is probably to install the second platform on a track, that goes under the river in a tunnel.

  • The single tunnel portal would require less land take, as it could be very close to Barking Riverside station.
  • The tunnel under the river could be a mix of single or double track, to create the most affordable tunnel.
  • The current single platform would become a bay platform.
  • During construction, the service to Barking Riverside station would be able to continue as normal.
  • The bay platform could be used for service recovery in times of disruption.

I particular like the idea of a loop railway on the South Bank of the Thames with perhaps four or five stations. Alternatively, it could be a tram-train on the surface.

Conclusion

It looks like the design of Barking Riverside station, is one that will cater for all eventualities.

I am looking forward to taking the first train to the station.

 

February 6, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking Down Renwick Road To Barking Riverside

This morning, I walked down Renwick Road to Barking Riverside.

This Google Map shows the area.

I started walking from Thames Road, turned South into Renwick Road and then walked to the bottom of the map.

  • On the West side of the road is a Nature Reserve and the massive Barking sub station, which is a major distribution point for East London’s electricity.
  • On the East side of the road  is Barking Riverside Campus, which is a large school catering for a wide age range.

It appears that the Barking Riverside Extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, will run between the campus and Renwick Road, according to this map.

The location of Barking Riverside station is at the end of the branch line that comes South from the Barking to Tilbury Line.

I took these pictures as I walked.

There are certainly a lot of large electricity pylons over the area.

I will be taking this walk, several times in the next few years to see how it changes, as the station is built.

February 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Building Under The Wires At Barking Riverside

I went to Barking Riverside yesterday, where they are building over 10,000 housing units and took these pictures where the EL1 buses from Barking station turn round.

As the pictures show, there are a lot of high voltage cables running over the site.

The East London Transit

The EL1, EL2 and EL3 buses  of the East London Transit connect the area to Barking station.

When I last came to this area, the buses weren’t to the high standard of New Routemasters.

February 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Checking On The Barking Riverside Extension Of The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

I took these pictures, when I went between Barking and Dagenham Dock stations on the top deck of an EL2 bus.

It looks to me, that this will be the easiest and least stressful way to observe the Barking Riverside Exctension, as it is being built.

As the pictures show, the route is run using New Routemaster buses, so on a good day, with a clean bus, the pictures should be good.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

London Overground Extension To Barking Riverside Gets Go Ahead

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

This is an important extension, as it unlocks a valuable housing site at Barking Riverside, where 10,800 homes will be built.

A Cost Comparison

It is going to cost £263million, which works out at £24,000 for each house and flat.

By comparison, the billion pound Northern Line Extension to Battersea will serve around 50,000 houses, or £20,000 for each.

And the Lea Valley Rail Programme is a £170million project, that will serve 10,000 homes at Meridian Water with a new Meridian Water station. This is slightly cheaper at £17,000 per home, but a double-track railway was already in place.

Note that in all these schemes, the developers have made contributions. Some have been larger than others.

There are a surprisingly close set of figures for cost per home, considering that the developments will probably be at different points on the luxury spectrum.

So if we are building a large housing development in London, of say 10,000 homes, should we be prepared to spend around £200million on providing decent rail or some other fast and accessible public transport access?

At the smaller end, if say a developer is building five hundred new homes, this could mean it is worth spending up to ten million on updating an existing station. The new Lea Bridge station seems to have cost around this sum and seems to be supporting hundreds of homes.

Proposed Developments In London

So how does this figure fit in with proposed developments in London?

Brent Cross Cricklewood

Brent Cross Cricklewood is described like this in Wikipedia.

Brent Cross Cricklewood is a planned new town centre development in Hendon and Cricklewood, London, United Kingdom. The development is planned to cost around £4.5 billion to construct and will include 7,500 homes, 4,000,000 sq ft (370,000 m2) of offices, four parks, transport improvements and a 592,000 sq ft (55,000 m2) extension of Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The developers of the scheme are Hammerson and Standard Life.

Construction was planned to start in 2018 and be completed in 2021-22, but in March 2018 a delay was announced to January 2019.

It will be served by a new Brent Cross West station.

Wikipedia also says that £500million could be spent on transport developments, including new roads and rebuilding of stations

Kensal Green Gas Works

This site will be redeveloped with 3,500 homes, according to documents on the Internet.

It also sits beside the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail, but no station is currently planned.

But applying the the formula, should mean that on a site like this, £70million should be available for public transport developments.

Southall Gas Works

The Southall Gas Works site has planning permission for 3,750 homes.

The site is close to Southall station, which will be on Crossrail.

Plans exist to update Southall station, but the plans look very inadequate.

In my view this site would e ideal for a driverless shuttle that took residents and visitors too and from the station.

Sites Outside London

My knowledge of the country outside of London is not so good, but some new stations have been built to support new housing and other developments.

It certainly seems, that in the UK, we’re building stations and new lines to improve the accessibility of developments.

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

How To Build A Short Railway Branch Line

This article in Global Rail News is entitled London Overground’s Barking Riverside extension given green light.

The Barking Riverside Extension to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line is a 4.5 km. extension to serve a housing development of 10,800 houses at a derelict site by the Thames in Barking.

The article says this.

The Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, has now given his support to the project – approving the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) for the extension.

It puzzles me, why Chris Grayling is in the loop, as the £263million project for the extension is funded by Transport for London, with a £172million contribution from the developers of the houses.

TfL’s contribution works out at just over ten pounds for every man woman and child in Greater London.

By comparison, this article in Rail TRechnology Magazine is entitled MPT wins £350m contract to build Metrolink’s Trafford Park extension. Was a TWAO signed by the Minister for that?

This country is far to centralised!

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 6 Comments

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.

Consider.

  • 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!

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments