What's Barking Riverside when it's at home? Here's the skinny on London's Overground extension, due later in 2022.
What is the Barking Riverside extension anyway?
Back in 2017, TfL announced it was extending the Overground line from Barking station to a brand new station south-east of it, called Barking Riverside. The extension entails an extra 4.5 kilometres of the 'GOBLIN' Overground line, snaking down towards the banks of the Thames.
Why are they building a Barking Riverside extension?
It's to support the largest housing development in east London called... yep, Barking Riverside. Situated on the till-now-untrendy Thames shoreline just east of Creekmouth, the development has some 10,800 new homes, a school, shops, cafes and other bits and bobs. Barking Riverside is also partaking in the NHS's Healthy New Towns initiative, and will have a Wellbeing Hub with a GP, water park and gym all under one roof. The whole thing reminds us a bit of the Thamesmead project in the mid 1960s, but with public transport. Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council Cllr Darren Rodwell even claimed Barking Riverside will become a "Barcelona on Thames" — presumably after he'd chugged a jug of sangria.
And it's bang on time, bang on budget, right?
Er. Construction began on the extension late 2018 — and it was supposed to open in 2021, costing £260 million. It's now expected to open summer 2022, costing £327 million. Partly to blame was the pandem... yeah, that.
But I want an extension to Barking Riverside NOW!
Actually, that kinda just happened. In April 2022, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers extended their riverbus service out east, opening its 24th pier at Barking Riverside.
Will there be new trains?
Already are! The electric Class 710s were rolled out on the Overground from May 2019. They're walk through, air-conditioned, have USB points and real-time info screens. They also have double the capacity of their lumbering diesel predecessors.
Anything else to geek out about with this new extension?
The 1.5 kilometres of the track nearest to Riverside Barking station will be on a da-da-da-dah — 56 span viaduct!
In summer 2022, the Overground will extend to a new station, Barking Riverside — a place with lots of new homes where very healthy people live.