The Barking Riverside extension of the London Overground will open to passengers next Monday – 18th July, TfL has confirmed. Just last month, TfL said that it was bringing the opening forward from this autumn to sometime this summer, and has now confirmed the opening date as next Monday.
The Gospel Oak route, extending out beyond Barking along the new 4.5km of track to Barking Riverside, will reduce journey times between Barking town and Barking Riverside to just seven minutes, rather than the current 25-minute bus journey. The route will operate with four trains per hour, providing Barking Riverside with connections to the District and Hammersmith & City lines and C2C trains at Barking.
This is the first extension of the London Overground since 2015, when TfL took over parts of the Greater Anglia routes through North London and the Romford to Upminster shuttle.
Construction work on the 4.5km extension from Barking station to the new riverside station had been due to open in December 2021 at a cost of £260 million. However, delays caused by unexpected engineering problems and pandemic mitigations works, mainly relating to securing rescheduled Network Rail possessions and coronavirus control measures pushed the cost up to £327 million.
Although the station opens on Monday 18th July, the line will close on its first weekend, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July due to Network Rail works along the Gospel Oak to Barking (GOBLIN) branch of the London Overground, after which the station will be open seven days a week.
Being a brand new station, Barking Riverside is fully step-free, and comes with cycle parking and bus stops for the local services.
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “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.”
For those keen to be on the first train next Monday, the first train to leave Barking Riverside is expected to depart at 5:33am and the first to depart from Barking station will leave at 5:43am.
Opening the station will also trigger the construction of more housing around it. The planning permission for the Barking Riverside housing development limits it to 4,000 occupied homes until the railway opens when the remaining 6,800 homes can be built and sold. The housing development is 49% owned by the GLA and 51% owned by L&Q.
There is also provision on the railway extension for an additional station, provisionally known as Castle Green to be built later when another housing development for 11,000 homes opens to the north of Barking Riverside.