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Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Passengers and residents across north and east London are set to benefit from a major upgrade to the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.Journeys on the route to be improved and capacity doubled with new four-carriage electric trains from early 2018.
Investment in longer platforms and improvements to stations along the route
Work to install new infrastructure will require a phased programme of closures from June this year The £130m+ scheme will electrify the line ready for a new fleet of cleaner, quieter and longer trains which will ease congestion and improve air quality.
Network Rail is delivering the project, which is being funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). The project will see TfL introduce new four-carriage electric trains to replace the existing two-carriage diesel trains from January 2018, helping to meet growing passenger demand. Hundreds of thousands of people living close to the line – which covers 14 miles and runs through six London boroughs – will also benefit from a reduction in CO2 emissions from the railway.
In order to electrify the railway, overhead wires and structures to support them need to be installed as well as the construction of three new switching stations. To make room for this new infrastructure, four sections of the track will be lowered, four bridges will be rebuilt and a further six modernised. TfL will also be investing in lengthening the platforms and enhancing stations to accommodate the longer trains. Network Rail has already started work on the foundations for the structures that will carry the overhead wires.
Due to the scale and complex nature of the work a phased eight month closure of the line is necessary, starting in June 2016. This consists of a part closure from early June to late September 2016 with trains running between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham during weekdays, and a full closure of the line from October 2016 to early February 2017. TfL will be providing rail replacement buses which will operate along the route.
Network Rail’s Route Managing Director, Richard Schofield, said:
“This is a vital project to keep pace with continued growing demand for rail. This investment will transform the service on this route, doubling capacity with cleaner, quieter electric trains and is a key element of the Railway Upgrade Plan.”
Mike Stubbs, TfL’s Director of London Overground, said:
“Customers along the line will reap the benefits when work to electrify the route is complete. It will allow for new longer walk-through trains to operate from January 2018, which will double capacity to meet growing demand on the route. It will also enable a new rail extension to Barking Riverside, which will support up to 11,000 new homes.
“We recognise that eight months is an extensive disruption for our customers, but this is minimised for the first four months by being a partial closure during the week, followed then by a full line closure. We continue to work with Network Rail to see if the timescales they set out can be reduced.”
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
“We are investing record amounts in transforming our rail network, and when this major work completes, passengers will benefit from better journeys on less congested, cleaner and quieter trains.
“In the short term there will be disruption, but Network Rail and TfL are doing all they can to keep passengers informed and ensure any inconvenience is kept to a minimum. I’d like to thank passengers and residents for their patience, and I am looking forward to seeing these improvements delivered.”
From June to September 2016, there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking on weekdays and no service between Gospel Oak and Barking on weekends. From October 2016 until early February 2017 there will be no service on the entire line between Gospel Oak and Barking. Further works to have the line ready for electric trains will take place during evenings and weekends only and will be completed by the end of June 2017.