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TfL plans Overground track extension to Barking Riverside

Transport for London (TfL) is consulting the public on plans to extend London Overground services by 4km on the Gospel Oak to Barking line to a new station at Barking Riverside. 

The initial public consultation, which runs until 19 October 2014, is open to everyone and the comments collected will be included in a consultation report that will inform further design and planning work over the coming months. TfL will also hold a further consultation in spring next year. 

According to TFL, the scheme, which includes laying 1.5km of new track, would provide a suitable transport link to Barking Riverside, which is the largest housing development in east London. Currently, planning permission for up to 10,800 new homes, as well as healthcare, shopping, community and leisure facilities, has been granted. 

However, without a suitable rail link, no more than 1,500 homes can be built on the 443 acre, former power station site. 

The proposed service would operate from Barking along the existing Essex Thameside Tilbury line and then via a new section of railway, to be built as a raised viaduct, heading south after the railway passes underneath Renwick Road Bridge. The route would end at Barking Riverside, where a station would be built at the heart of a new district centre. 

This scheme replaces the previously proposed Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension from Gallions Reach to Dagenham Dock via Barking Riverside. 

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Introducing the services of one of the UK’s most punctual and popular railways will fast-track the renaissance of Barking Riverside. 

“A link in to the London Overground network and access to central London would without doubt unlock further development in Barking Riverside and help it to realise its full potential.” 

TfL has also stated that the proposed scheme would provide an interchange at Barking with the existing c2c Fenchurch Street line, the District and Hammersmith & City lines; would provide an onwards connection on the Gospel Oak to Barking line, which will be fully electrified by the time the extension is completed; and would be complemented by wider transport improvements, including cycling provision and fully integrated bus services to link Barking Riverside with surrounding areas. 

Michele Dix, TfL’s managing director of Planning, said: “This initial consultation is to enable stakeholders and the local community to give us their views on the proposal and influence the design of the scheme going forward. We will use these to lay the foundations of a full and extensive public consultation in 2015.” 

Those wishing to make submissions may do so at In support of a leaflet drop to 27,400 households in the area, TfL is also holding drop-in sessions where staff will be available to answer questions from members of the public. The sessions will be held at Barking Library 1pm-5pm Saturday 20 September; Thames View Library 2:30pm-7pm Tuesday 23 September; and the Rivergate Centre, 3pm-8pm, Monday 6 October. 

Subject to funding, further consultation and the proposal being endorsed by the Mayor, TfL added that it intends to apply to the Department for Transport for powers to construct and operate the extension through a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO). This application could be submitted by the end of 2015 and if approved, construction could start in early 2017, with trains running at the end of 2019. 

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