Thames-side destination: artist’s impression of the proposed terminal station at Barking Riverside.

THE TRANSPORT and Works Act Order to build a 4.5km extension of London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line to Barking Riverside has been approved by Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling.

The extension sees the line continue south of Barking station, initially sharing tracks with c2c’s Tilbury line for approximately 2km before diverging onto a new spur near the existing DB Cargo freight terminal and heading south towards Barking Riverside. Barking Riverside is the largest housing development site in east London, and planning permission is in place for up to 10,800 homes to be built here. However, the planning permission at the site restricts development to 1,500 homes until permission has been granted for a new rail or light rail link and to 4,000 homes until such a link is open.

Developer Barking Riverside Ltd, a joint venture between the Greater London Authority and London & Quadrant, will provide £172 million of funding; the remainder of the £263 million cost will come from TfL’s growth fund. TfL says construction will begin in summer 2018, with train services starting in late 2021.

LO services would divert away from their current bay platform at Barking and would use platforms 7 and 8 at the station, currently served by c2c’s Tilbury line services. TfL says there is capacity to accommodate four trains per hour to Barking Riverside alongside existing c2c and freight services east of Barking, although the peak timetable may need to be remodelled to accommodate these.

In December 2016 TfL announced that Balfour Beatty, Carillion and VolkerFitzpatrick had been shortlisted to bid for the contract to build the extension.