TfL consulting on London Overground extension
Transport for London has launched a public consultation seeking to determine the preferred alignment for an extension of London Overground services to Barking Riverside.
A previous consultation revealed that 90% of respondents were in favour of extending Gospel Oak-Barking services to the Barking Riverside development. This is the largest housing development site in east London with planning permission in place for up to 10,800 homes, part of which is conditional on a new rail or light rail extension being in place. A Government loan of £55 million has been provided to support the extension, which TfL says means that funding is available to cover the full cost of the project.
TfL is now offering two proposed alignments for consultation. The first consists of separate viaducts carrying the eastbound and westbound tracks off the Tilbury branch of the c2c route east of Barking station. This would require fewer changes to the freight yard infrastructure in the area, which TfL says could result in cost savings.
The second option would see the extension leave the Tilbury line slightly nearer to Barking with both lines then running in parallel along a single viaduct, and would require more changes to the freight yard. However, TfL says that crossing Choats Road on a single viaduct means it is possible to increase the distance between the existing residential areas and the operational railway.
With this second option a site has also been identified for a future second station on the extension west of Renwick Road bridge. TfL says a second station is not part of the scope of the current project but was widely suggested in the earlier consultation. This station location would not be possible with the first option because there is not enough space for platforms, and alternative locations would cause disruption to passenger and freight services using the existing railway.
The consultation on the two suggested routes closes on 21 June. Subject to the outcome of the consultation and the final proposal being supported by the Mayor of London, TfL intends to make a Transport and Works Act Order application for powers to build and operate a railway extension in December 2015. If approved by the Secretary of State for Transport, construction could begin in early 2017 with trains running by the end of 2020.