Barking and Upney
Although these are two quite separate, and totally different, stations, they are inextricably linked together by one thing - the sidings that are located between them.
Historically, the sidings were built and commissioned in 1958, at the same time as the District Line's east end depot moved from Little Ilford (the site now occupied by C2C's East Ham depot) to the 'new' depot at Upminster, which is illustrated elsewhere in these pages.
Barking is one of the lines regular reversing points, and also sees several Hammersmith & City Line C Stock trains stabled there each night. The District Line stables one D Stock train there.
The sidings themselves are very flexible and allow trains to enter and leave in every possible combination of directions.
I think a look at these diagrams will give quite a good idea of how many signals, routes and sidings there are in the area! But, though at face value, they seem very complex, in reality they are very logical, and all the moves are essentially straightforward, provided of course that you are properly trained and aware of the options that are available.
Most of our 'routine' visits to the sidings comprise of arriving from the west end of the sidings (that is from the station), stopping in the appropriate place and then leaving onto the westbound line to go into service in a westerly direction. But trains can enter from the Upney end, they can leave towards Upney, both to head east or to go west. Similarly trains can go into Barking's eastbound platform and enter service in an easterly direction.
I've ordered the photos that follow working from Upney, going through the sidings and then into Barking station. There is too a Bay Road platform at Barking, mainly used by the Hammersmith & City line, but the District line does use it too.
This picture was taken from the overbridge which is a staff walkway between Upney and Barking sidings, looking east towards Upney Station.
Taken from the same location, but now looking in the opposite direction. The pointwork from the westbound main is the route towards the sidings.
Again looking back towards Upney; the bridge where the above pictures were taken is visible. The building on the left is Upney sub-station.
From the same location, but now looking into Barking sidings. The building in the foreground provides accommodation for the train maintainers and cleaners who service the trains stabled there each night.
These signs were installed at the time of my visit. They indicate to approaching trains that the area is in the possession of the track maintenance staff, that traction current is off and that they are entering a work site; essentially the area is not available due to maintenance work being carried out.
The same signs, but viewed from the opposite direction. In sequence they state that you are leaving the work site, that the possession has ended and that traction current is on.
This is taken at the opposite end of the sidings, that is towards Barking and gives a general view across the whole area.
Further towards Barking. The track nearest is the reception road which gives access to and from the sidings. The shunt signal FF21 would allow a train out from the road into Barking eastbound platform, though the train would be travelling in a westerly direction - a 'wrong road' move.
On arrival in the platform the Train Operator would change ends and the train would then enter passenger service eastbound towards Upminster.
Now at the opposite end of Barking station, looking eastbound. The road nearest the camera is the bay road.
This is Barking signal cabin.
The station starter for the bay road; care has to be taken to ensure that the correct signal is being observed; note the signal in advance of it - that's one of C2C's signals and (particularly when in the train's cab) can draw a driver's attention away from 'our' signal.
Westbound D Stock train just starting to climb the flyover. The tracks from the bay road and the flyover meet at the bottom of the flyover.
Hammersmith & City line service arriving in the bay road.