The last large plot of land left over from the London 2012 Olympics is set to be developed as Network Rail opens a masterplan process for the site.

The Bow Goods Yard sits to the south of the London Stadium and has been a railway hub for over a century, was used as the main construction hub for the Olympics, and during the games, it became home to the Olympic warm-up track.

Bow Goods Yard side – red highlight over Google Map

These days, it’s home to several heavy rail freight users, and as one of the largest railheads for the capital it supplies over a million tonnes of concrete and aggregate to serve the construction industry.

To develop plans for the area, Network Rail has awarded a masterplan development contract to Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the same firm that worked on a previous post-Olympics plan in the Lea Valley.

Although the plans are not detailed yet, Network Rail is looking at a mix of uses, including housing, workspaces, and retaining a large rail freight facility.

There will also be connections across the Greenway to link the site with the rest of the Olympic Park, and likely improve the east-west connections in the wider area. The site is also just to the north of Pudding Mill Lane station on the DLR, so close to public transport for the new housing.

A period of consultation and design will take place this year with the target to submit planning in 2024.

Robin Dobson, Group Property Director at Network Rail said: “As the last part of the regeneration story for the Olympic Park, Bow Goods Yard is strategically connected by both road and rail. The development has the potential to create London’s largest state-of-the-art freight and last mile logistics hub to serve Greater London, alongside delivering homes, a workspace campus and open space connecting to the surrounding neighbourhoods.”


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  1. Dan says:

    It could be a helpful logistics hub for freight from places like London Gateway and Felixstowe. Using freight trains would reduce the number of lorries entering the city, and electric light vans can carry out last-mile distribution.

    • JMarsden says:

      Doesn’t this cause congestion on the overground metro services or passenger services that pass through Stratford?

      One of the benefits of the Norman Foster Thames airport masterplan was to build a dedicated freight rail track circular route around London for freight capacity between the ports and London distribution centres and rest of UK. In hindsight it is a shame the public conversation got so caught up in the airport side of things.

      No matter the opinion on the airport side of things the lack of investment in dedicated freight rail capacity since those plans is a missed opportunity of minimal infrastructure investment during a decade of historical low interest rates that has probably passed us by for the near future.

      A damning indictment of the austerity programme.

  2. Chris says:

    It makes sense to keep the freight terminal to the west of the river given the A12 access. The east part between the river and greenway is a nice spot that’s ripe for development.

    It’s not quite on this site being on the other side of the main rail line but what would be nice is a shorter cycle route from the dead end of Wick Lane and Bow Quarter on the other side of the A12, railway and river to Pudding Mill Lane.

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