The Anonymous Widower

A First Trip To Barking Riverside Station

I took a first trip to Barking Riverside station this morning and took these pictures.

I have a few thoughts and observations.

A Map Of The Barking Riverside Branch

This Google Map shows the Barking Riverside Branch.

Note.

  1. In South-West corner of the map, in the river marked by a blue dot is the Barking Riverside pier for the Thames Clippers.
  2. In A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022, I wrote about a trip to Barking Riverside pier from London Bridge pier.
  3. The blue dot above the pier marks Barking Riverside station.

The question mark-shaped Barking Riverside Branch connects Barking Riverside and Barking stations.

The Concrete Viaduct

Much of the branch is a concrete viaduct, which is shown from the ground in these pictures taken on January 20th 2022.

These pictures were originally published in Following The Barking Riverside Extension – 20th January 2022, where I said this.

It seems to be substantially finished and an Autumn 2022 opening should be possible.

I don’t think anybody is bothering about a few months early.

It does seem that engineers are getting better at designing and building these massive structures.

In the last few years I have followed the construction of these structures.

They are impressive engineering projects and I expect that High Speed Two will add a few more to this list.

Why Is There A Need For Two Platforms?

It is generally accepted, that a single-platform at the end of a double-track railway can handle a frequency of six trains per hour (tph).

But plans to extend the railway under or over the Thames to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead, would need two platforms at Barking Riverside station.

Passenger Access At Barking Riverside Station

This picture shows the train-to-platform access at Barking Riverside station.

It is certainly is up there with some of the best on the Overground.

Street-to-platform access is unusual, in that there are two sets of stairs to navigate between platform and street, which is similar to other stations on the Overground.

But to compensate for the climb and give a reliable and easier alternative, two lifts have been installed.

Long Platforms

The platforms seem overly long for the four-car Class 710 trains, which are only eighty-three metres long.

As extending platforms is often a difficult and disruptive exercise, have the platforms been designed to the longest length that Transport for London feel may be needed?

On a second visit to the station, I took these pictures of the ends of the platforms.

Note.

  1. Platform 2 is the Western platform.
  2. Platform 1 is the Eastern platform.
  3. Trains can reverse in either.

I estimate that each platform could easily handle a four-and-a-half car train.

That seems a strange length of train.

I spent some time looking at the Southern end of the station and I came to the conclusion that the station has been designed so it can be extended towards the river.

I feel the station has been designed so that it can handle nine-car trains, with passenger access to the platforms in the middle.

If the station extension were to be built as a mirror image of the existing station, would this mean the following?

  • The extension has its own set of stairs.
  • But as the lifts, would be in the dividing wall between the two halves of the station would the current lifts be fitted with doors on both sides? Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture inside the lifts.

Barking Riverside station appears to be a well-designed station of two halves.

A High-Capacity Station

Consider.

  • The station has two platforms, which could be used as one platform in each direction.
  • Each platform could handle a train every ten minutes giving a capacity of six tph in each direction.
  • Nine-car trains could possibly be run on the route.
  • The station has good passenger access, with wide stairs and two lifts.

I appears, that Barking Riverside has been designed as a high-capacity station.

London’s Only Nine-Car Trains

The only nine-car trains in London are the Class 345 trains used by the Elizabeth Line.

This map from Cartometro shows where the Gospel Oak and Barking Line crosses over the Great Eastern Main and Elizabeth Lines.

Note.

  1. Wanstead Park and Woodgrange Park stations are on the Gospel Oak and Barking Line, which is shown in orange.
  2. Woodgrange Park station could be adapted to take the Class 345 trains.
  3. Forest Gate and Manor Park stations are on the Elizabeth Line, which is shown in purple.

Forest Gate and Woodgrange Park junctions allow trains to run between Liverpool Street and Barking using the route that c2c trains sometimes take at weekends.

I took this picture today, which shows one of c2c’s new Class 720 trains in Platform 8 at Barking station.

Note.

  1. These trains are five-car trains.
  2. Was it running as a five- or ten-car formation? I will have to check.
  3. But I do know that Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking stations can take eight-car trains with ease.
  4. Were c2c testing that the Fenchurch Street and Grays service could be run by Class 720 trains, which are siblings of the Elizabeth Line’s Class 345 trains?

It does look to me that the design of the tracks between Woodgrange Park and Barking Riverside will allow the following.

  • Nine-car Class 345 trains to run between the Elizabeth Line at Forest Gate junction and Grays station.
  • Nine-car Class 345 trains to run between the Elizabeth Line at Forest Gate junction and Barking Riverside station, if the terminal station had extended platforms.

I am certain that the Barking Riverside Branch has been designed, with future extension in mind.

Adding a Grays service to the Elizabeth Line could give advantages.

  • Woodgrange Park, Barking, Dagenham Dock, Rainham, Purfleet and Grays would get a direct connection to the Elizabeth Line.
  • The proposed Renwick Road and Beam Park stations would be served by the Elizabeth Line.
  • Barking Riverside would be connected to the Elizabeth Line with a change at Barking.
  • Grays could get four tph service to London, with two tph on c2c to Fenchurch Street and two tph on the Elizabeth Line.

As Grays has other services to London via Ockenden, it might be better to run four Elizabeth Line tph to Grays.

I suspect that to run nine-car trains to Barking Riverside would need the route to be extended under the Thames.

I can see two possible tunnelled solutions and one based on a bridge.

  1. A double track tunnel to Abbey Wood to link up with the Elizabeth and North Kent Lines.
  2. A single track tunnel running in a loop to perhaps serve Crossness, East Thamesmead, Abbey Wood and West Thamesmead.
  3. A high bridge over the Thames, that gave spectacular views of London.

I can see option two being the easiest to build and the most affordable.

 

 

Interchange At Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking Station

I have been taking pictures of the Barking Riverside Branch since 2014, when I wrote Is The Gospel Oak To Barking Line Going To Be Extended?.

My usual route has been as follows.

  • 141 bus to Harringay Green Lanes station.
  • Gospel Oak to Barking Line to Barking.
  • Change to c2c for Dagenham Dock.
  • Bus to Barking Riverside.
  • Bus from Barking Riverside to Barking station to go home.

But from today, services have been rearranged in Barking station, so that Platforms 7 and 8 handle the following services.

  • London Overground – 4 tph to Barking Riverside
  • London Overground – 4 tph to Gospel Oak
  • c2c – 2 tph to Fenchurch Street
  • c2c – 2 tph to Grays

So for my trip between Harringay Green Lanes and Dagenham Dock, I would go to Platform 7/8 at Barking station and wait for the first train to Dagenham Dock station.

  • It would be a totally step-free interchange.
  • There is a coffee stall on the platform.

The only improvement that could be made would be to increase the frequency of the c2c service to 4 tph to match the Overground service. I suspect that could be arranged with digital signalling in the area.

There could even be the possibility of running two tph into Liverpool Street, as c2c trains do on Sundays.

Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking Station could be developed into an extremely-useful mini hub.

Is Barking Station Going Step-Free?

Barking station is being refurbished and Wikipedia says this about the works.

Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council has developed a Barking Station Masterplan for the redevelopment of the station, including the removal of retail units from the station concourse, expansion of ticket barriers, additional Oyster card machines, and new building work to provide replacement retail and to increase natural light within the station. In 2009, the station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations for mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment, and it was planned to receive a share of £50m funding for improvements.

I would hope step-free access would be included. The Barking Station Masterplan does say this.

Reinvigorate Barking Station so it can cope with the increasing demands which will be
placed on it, by restoring the station’s open feel and celebrating its architecture. Provide
step free access to all platforms and improve the quality of interchange between
different modes of transport. Significantly increase the ease with which pedestrians and
cyclists can use and navigate the area.

That would certainly be an improvement.

Barking Riverside And The District And Hammersmith & City Lines

The improvements at Barking station are probably the key to this. These will surely enable a quick er interchange, with lifts for those that need them.

Barking Riverside And The Lizzie Line

At present the easiest way is take either the District or Hammersmith & City Lines between Barking  and Whitechapel stations.

An alternative is to take the Gospel Oak and Barking Line to Wanstead Park station and then walk to Forest Gate station, which is a valid out-of-station interchange.

These pictures show the out-of-station interchange between Wanstead Park and Forest Gate stations.

When the Lizzie Line is fully connected, this will probably be the best way, if you’re not carrying a heavy bag, in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy.

Expect to see full step-free access at Wanstead Park station in the next few years.

Underneath The Power Lines At Barking Riverside

When the train is going to Barking Riverside station, if you look out to the right (West), you will see massive power lines leading to the Barking substation.

I have lived a mile or so from powerlines in the past and I don’t think, they are an asset to the area, when it comes to selling houses.

July 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hackney Wick Station And The Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse

The title of this post might seem a bit unusual, as the two locations are in different continents and thousands of miles apart.

But there is a connection, in that the new Hackney Wick station and the Florida International University bridge, were built using the same construction method called accelerated bridge construction.

There are some major differences.

  • At Hackney Wick a short, fat subway was built alongside the railway and moved in using self-propelled modular transporters. In Florida a long thin span was installed , in a similar way.
  • The Hackney Wick station subway, probably weighs a lot more than the pedestrian footbridge.
  • The Hackney Wick subway and the platforms and track on top, was fully reinstated before trains could cross, whereas the Florida span was part of a cable-stay bridge, which hadn’t been completed.
  • The Hackney Wick subway will be carrying trains of several hundred tons, whereas the Florida bridge will be carrying people.

It looks to me, that there has been some inaccurate calculations, which led to the collapse of the Florida International University bridge.

March 16, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

I Can Clearly See Through The Hackney Wick Subway

A couple of days and they’re really pushed on at Hackney Wick station.

It looks like after the May Bank Holiday, they may have opened up the subway for pedestrians, as barriers seem to be ready to create a walkway.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The Subway Is Finally Exposed

These pictures show the subway and a few other things at Hackney Wick station.

It looks to my untrained eye, that now, the builders can get on with putting in the stairs and lifts and then fit out the station ready for opening.

This visualisation shows how the station will look on completion.

Hackney Wick Station South Elevstion

I do hope they leave the approach to the station clear, as in the visualisation.

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The Sun God Has Blessed Hackney Wick

If you look at my pictures over the weekend of the Hackney Wick Station Subway Installation, there’s two common factors – The sun and no rain.

Imagine having to do all that heavy work in an intense storm named Jeremy or Nigel.

Obviously, the Queen too, hasn’t been near Hackney Wick.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The Mammoths Are Leaving

I went back to Hackney Wick station in the afternoon and the mammoths were lined up, with the 2,000 tonne subway standing on its own feet.

The mammoths really are impressive beasts.

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The New Hackney Wick Station Opened On Time

This morning and I was up early to catch the first train train from Dalston Kingsland station to the new Hackney Wick station.

The train was precisely on time at 06:23.

Note that the herd of mammoths, that I photographed on Thursday are still underneath the new embankment.

 

This is a previous picture from Thursday.

From the pictures it would appear that they have picked up the station subway and given it a twirl.

It has certainly been an impressive project to demolish a railway on an embankment, insert a new subway and then rebuild and reopen the embankment, all in four working days.

I feel that they got the project nmanagement spot-on for this project, witn not a minute of wasted time.

But the biggest factor was surely, that the only work they did with the electrification was switch it off at the start and switch it on and test it, at the finish. They also probably used the most careful digger and crane operators they could find!

I wonder, if we’ll be seeing similar robust construction techniques to create and rebuild stations in double-quick time!

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Forget Drones, Flying Diggers Are More Fun!

I took these pictures at Hackney Wick this morning.station

As to progress, it appears that the subway has been slotted into the gap in the embankment created yesterday

 

This picture gives a distant view of the site on the North side of the tracks.

The subway appears not to be there anymore and it could actually be in position.

This must be good progress.

April 15, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Tough Way To Spend Easter

Hackney Wick station is being rebuilt.

It is not an easy job, as the rail line is on a viaduct six metres above ground level.

In addition to being a major line of the the London Overground, the North London Line is also an important freight route.

The picture was taken from the ramp that leads up to the station, which is high on the left.

To complicate matters on top of the station was a concrete footbridge.

This was demolished a month or so ago.

To make the creation of the subway through the embankment, even more challenging, they are building the subway to the North of the embankment.

And over Easter, they will do the tricky bit.

Starting on Friday, the 14th April, they will execute this sequence of operations.

  • Remove the track through Hackney Wick.
  • Dig a massive gap in the embankment and dig down to the stable gravel level.
  • lightweight polystyrene blocs will even be used to  replace a proportion of backfill.
  • Push the station subway, which is 12.7 metres wide and 22.5 metres long into the gap.

The job will then be completed by rebuilding the railway on top, ready for the start of services on the Tuesday.

This is the sort of job that needs a web-cam high on a convenient tower block.

Hackney Wick Station – 8th April 2017

These pictures show the station on the Saturday before work starts.

Is the subway going to be turned before it is moved into place?

Call In A Herd If Mammoths – 13th April 2017

These pictures show the subway tunnel being readied for the big push!

I think the last train into Hackney Wick station gets there at three minutes past midnight.

Counting Them All In And Counting Them All Out – 14th April 2017

The embankment is now being removed and I have put up a series of pictures in Counting Them All In And Counting Them All Out.

Here is a picture from the 8th of April and a sample from today for comparison.

It is an impressive operation, with a stream of trucks coming and going.

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments