The Anonymous Widower

TfL Mulls DLR And Overground Extensions To Thamesmead

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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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

A Divided City

London is a divided city and it has always been thus.

I am a North Londoner and can’t understand why anybody would want to live South of the Great Sewer. Compared to my childhood, it’s now grown up to be a river.

This is not just a white middle-class attitude, as I’ve been told by policemen, that criminals rarely commit crime on both sides of the river, and I’ve met several black South and North Londoners, who have my attitude to the other part of London.

In my childhood, the transport system made this divide a lot worse. We learned to duck and dive into the Underground and those in the South, learned how to get around using the Southern electrics, which to a North Londoner seem to have been laid out by the Devil to confuse outsiders.

It’s better now, with Thameslink, the Overground and the Victoria and Jubilee lines  adding extra connections between North and South London.

But one place, where the divide is still great is in the East. London has a housing shortage and two of the areas, where a large number of houses are to be built in the east, are Barking Riverside to the North of the Thames and Thamesmead to the South. The latter found its fame as the set for A Clockwork Orange and now surrounds the notorious Belmarsh Prison.

Both of these areas lack decent transport links.  Wikipedia has a section on transport for Thamesmead which says this.

Thamesmead’s location between the Thames and the South London escarpment limits rail transport and road access points. Thus Thamesmead has no underground or surface rail links. Most residents rely on bus services to reach the nearest rail stations.

Barking Riverside fares little better, according to this section in Wikipedia. Here’s the first bit.

Barking Riverside is connected to Barking, Ilford and Dagenham Dock by the East London Transit bus rapid transit service.

But at least the Gospel Oak to Barking Line is being extended to the houses at Riverside.

What was originally proposed was a new road bridge across the river called the Thames Gateway bridge, that would have originally opened in 2013.

But now in London’s Transport Plan for 2050, a rail tunnel is being proposed that links the Goblin at Barking Riverside to Abbey Wood station for Crossrail and the Kent lines, with an intermediate station at Thamesmead.

It will not be a low-cost option, as tunnelling isn’t a question of hiring a few navvies, so as the DLR extension to Woolwich Arsenal cost a couple of hundred million or so, we’re probably looking at a half billion pound project to connect the rail lines under the Thames.

But surely, if it improves the east of London and makes housing in Barking Riverside and Thamesmead more attractive, it surely must be high up the benefit cost scale.

August 3, 2014 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments