Construction of the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside on the northern bank of the River Thames will begin in the next few months following the appointment of the main contractor.
A joint venture of Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick (MSVF) have been awarded the contract and will build the 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line over the next two years.
It was previously announced that Balfour Beatty and the now-collapsed construction firm Carillion, as well as MSVF, had expressed interest in constructing the extension.
Transport for London (TfL) expects to begin train services to Barking Riverside, currently one of Europe’s largest brownfield sites which is under development, from late 2021.
Extending the line to the 179-hectare site is “the single most important part of unlocking the true potential of [the] amazing riverside site”, according to Matthew Carpen, the managing director of development company Barking Riverside Limited.
Up to 10,800 new homes and facilities such as a new school and a new district centre could be unlocked by the project in what TfL describes as one of London’s most significant housing developments.
The London Overground extension is part funded by Barking Riverside Limited and part-funded by TfL. It will link Barking Riverside into London’s wider public transport network through connections at Barking, with District and Hammersmith & City services and c2c services to London Fenchurch Street and Essex once it is operational with services consisting of four electric trains an hour.
Estimates in 2017, based on construction starting in 2017/18, put the cost of the project at £263 million.
Under the new contract, MSVF is expected to deliver:
- A 4.5km extension to Barking Riverside, from the Tilbury Loop Line between Barking and Dagenham Dock stations to Barking Riverside;
- Reconfiguration of Network Rail’s Ripple Lane goods yard to allow the extension to connect to the Tilbury Loop;
- Construction of a viaduct over the Ripple Lane yard. This will require the viaduct to be built over the Tilbury Loop and foundations constructed between the HS1 tunnels;
- Continuation of the viaduct for a further 1.5km over Renwick Road and into the heart of Barking Riverside;
- Construction of a new terminus station within the Barking Riverside town square. The station will have step-free access from street to train.