UK: The 4·5 km Barking Riverside extension of the London Overground network opened on July 18.
London Overground concessionaire Arriva Rail London is now operating four trains per hour as an extension of its Gospel Oak – Barking route, offering a 7 min journey time between Barking and the Riverside redevelopment area compared to 25 min by bus.
Transport for London began public consultation on the project in 2014. Legal powers were granted in August 2017, when it was envisaged that construction could begin in late 2017 for opening in 2021.
A joint venture of Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick was awarded the construction contract in December 2018, and major works began in February 2019.
The route runs alongside the existing Fenchurch Street – Tilbury line from Barking station past the site of the former Ripple Lane marshalling yard, then turns south on a new viaduct to Barking Riverside.
The viaduct and track slab were completed in October 2021, and the signalling commissioned in March 2022, enabling driver training to begin in May.
Transport for London said the opening ahead of the revised autumn completion date was the result of good progress with driver training and support from Network Rail.
‘Hot on the heels of the opening of the Elizabeth Line, this is more excellent news for east London’, said Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport. ’This new station will help to pave the way for up to 10 000 new homes in Barking Riverside, thousands of which will be genuinely affordable and will ensure residents have the high-quality transport links they need. I am particularly pleased that this station is fully step-free and is opening much earlier than planned.’