Monday 15 August 2011

Delving into Dagenham Dock [5]

fbb gets it wrong again!
The Northampton bus, fleet number 129
(yesterdays blog),was new in 1945 and
has a Duple body. A senior moment, yet again!
Back to the delights of Dagenham Dock

An Empty Bus Station Exudes Excellence!
Remember how it was, long, long ago. 
The original level crossing at Dagenham Dock Station was closed, permanently, to make way for the route of the High Speed 1 line from St Pancras to Ebbsfleet and on to the channel tunnel. Another distinctive and reasonably recent feature of the area is the A13 viaduct.
So when the EL2 bus service approaches its terminus it reaches a very firm and resolute dead end; here pictured before the "bus station" was established. The railway tracks lie behind the blue boards beyond the parked lorries. Turn right there and you will now enter the Dagenham Dock interchange. The slice of land on the right of the "A13" label in this aerial view is where the EL2s now collect and deposit their throngs of happy passengers.
And below is the bus station in all its glory today. The large circular thingey (outlined in white, right) is where drivers can take their "relief" (give us a "P", Bob?) and have a brew. Notice the excellent and luxurious facilities for passengers and electricity pylon spotters.
And here, a shot showing the bus station, a freight train and a Eurostar express all enjoying the dubious delights of Dagenham Dock and district. The local passenger tracks are over on the far left.
Now, before Boris sends the lads around to "work fbb over" for his cynical remarks, please note that all this empty excellence is part of a grand regeneration scheme for the whole area. One day, the waste lands will be full of houses, shops, hotels, and possibly even an extension of the Docklands Light Railway; all converging on the lavish interchange facilities illustrated above. 

One day?

In the meantime travellers can grapple with Transport for London's really helpful timetable ...
... far easier to understand than this, of course.
And finally ...

... a particular highlight is the walking route from bus to London-bound train, as illustrated on this aerial view. 
At "X" there appears to be a lift shaft but no stairs. So, if the lifts aren't working (and they haven't been until VERY recently) or you want to buy a ticket, it's

UP stairs
ACROSS long bridge
DOWN stairs
ACROSS car park
THROUGH station
ALONG platform
UP stairs
ACROSS small bridge
DOWN stairs 
WAIT for train 

The only consolation is that there won't be a huge rush to make the connection, yet. Perhaps fbb has exaggerated the problem (perish the thought); if so, someone will doubtless delight in demanding an apology.

And a final, final thought. Wouldn't bus travel be abso-bloomin'-lootly fantastic if there were enough money to lavish generously on every new estate, every brownfield site and every new bus route? Why, people might start using the things. Perish another thought!

Next blog : due Tuesday August 16th
   Dagenham Dock : the outtakes    


  1. Now that all TfL buses are wheelchair-accessible, and I would think the trains are as well, surely it should now be possible for a wheelchair user to take the bus to Dagenham Dock station and then take the train to London?

    Or is that just a silly question?

  2. If the lifts are working and if he/she doen'y need to buy a ticket, then he/she can - but if not, no way jose! I'm not sure whose lifts they are, thus who might be "on call" to mend them. Any offers?

  3. That's a good question, actually. I understand that in the case of Wembley Stadium station, it is Brent Council.

    However, such stupidity is not confined to the UK. We have exactly the same situation in Freiburg Hbf. The station is operated by the Deutsche Bahn, but the lifts are incorporated into a bridge that carries the trams over the station, and therefore belong to the municipal transport undertaking (VAG) - a point which the DB staff are always keen to make you aware of when they don't work.

    If you're interested, I could provide you with some more German examples of the sort of thing you blog about - they're just as good as the Brits, despite what one might think from afar!