Travelled on the line yesterday; I thought it was all a bit surreal. Magnificent but deserted terminus; a giant greenhouse in the hot sun, the windbreak glass on the platform totally unnecessary. A wasteland between the LTS line and the river. Still, quite good to traverse the connections to the Goblin at the London end of Barking, which I think I last did in 1958 on a Southend Central- Walthamstow Mid return excursion behind a 2P and a rake of LMS coaches!
I wonder, would more passengers choose to go to by the seaside by train if through services (summer only?) to Southend-On-Sea were restarted?
Remember riding on an Southend Sunday excursion train from Walthamstow(Queen’s Rd) in steam days.
I wondered why the platforms on the Goblin from Woodgrange Park to Queen's Rd were so long. Even with the 4 car trains, it looks as though there is still more room on the unused part of platforms to run 6 car trains. I am sure back in the early 80's with school I got the train from Leyton Midland to Southend, it was meant to be summer but cold and raining.
The excursions mostly ran all stations Upper Holloway to Barking, then Chalkwell, Leigh, Westcliff and Southend Central; AIRI. Locomotives in 57-60 were anything Cricklewood had to spare, but were mostly small LM tender engines. A tank was rare, though of course 2-6-4Ts operated the regular service. I do not remember the Shakespeare curve in use after about 1957. We used to go to East Ham from Leyton Midland or Walthamstow, and it was always an annoyance to change at Barking via that dingy subway, or end up at Elm Park if unwary.
During the late '50's and certainly while the existing Barking LU Cabin was being built/commissioned c.1959, the weekend through Southend Central trains originated off the Midland main line (one certainly started from Bedford/ St Albans, others from St.Pancras and Kentish Town at different times.
Quite often the haulage was a Midland Class 4F 0-6-0, a sight to behold going flat out on the curves at Pitsea with a rake of Ex Midland or early BR Mk1 Suburban non-corridor stock in tow !
I "think" but dont quote me, that the through services beyond Barking finished after the extensive track re-modelling during '59/60 when Platform 1 became a bay road reversing point only,having previously
having access beyond the station road bridge to the Down Southend road. If wrong,and I was only a 10/11 ish at the time, please correct me if positive !