Latest Rail News

27.07.17

GOBLIN electrification on track for January 2018 completion

Network Rail has this week confirmed that the GOBLIN electrification project is expected to be completed in January 2018 ahead of new trains arriving in spring.

The project aiming to electrify the line on the Overground between Gospel Oak and Barking was originally due to be finished by June this year, but this was pushed back due to multiple issues with design and cables.

But now, it has been confirmed that the end is on the horizon as works will be finished in January next year, thus enabling testing of the new electric trains and driver training to begin.

Passenger services will then begin to roll out from spring – diesel services will continue to run as normal until they are replaced by the new double-length trains.

Weekend closures will take place from 29 July to 10 September, and talks are ongoing between Network Rail, TfL and operators to finalise agreements for further weekend closures later on in the year.

Longer closures are proposed to take place between 17 September and 22 October, and again from 27 November until 14 January 2018.

“The Gospel Oak to Barking line is set to benefit from a transformational upgrade with better services provided by a new fleet of longer electric trains, doubling the current capacity,” said Meliha Duymaz, route managing director at Network Rail. 

“This project has not been without its difficulties and we’d like to apologise for the continued disruption and thank both passengers and neighbours for their patience while we finish our work.

“We still have a lot to do but with a new team in place to finish off the project, I’m confident that the immense benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime investment will be realised in the months ahead, and the benefits enjoyed for years to come.”

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   27/07/2017 at 19:00

At least it hasn't been postponed. New London Overground Class 710 Aventra EMU trains will be built and once the electrification is finished and completed once the overhead wires are energised and goes live. Then the Class 710's should enter passenger service on the GOBLIN line by spring next year and with the current LO Class 172's cascaded to Chiltern Railways or GWR once the Class 710's enter service. Also with the Class 710's to operate on the Liverpool St-Cheshunt, Enfield Town and Chingford Lea Valley metro services and Romford-Upminster service replacing the Class 315's and Class 317's and Euston-Watford Junction DC service from spring next year replacing the Class 378's for East London Line services.

Simon Eames1990   27/07/2017 at 23:41

NR better complete the work by Jan 2018. The two car Class 172 DMUs are very crowded in peak hrs. The 4 Class 710 EMUs are planned to enter service in early spring 2018. The Class 172 could go to the Greenford branch if LO takes over. The Class 710 should be lengthened to 5 carriages.

Geoff Armand Louis Demprunt   27/07/2017 at 23:55

It's refreshing to see such an open and frank approach to the delay. The trains were never going to be delivered before January , so apart from the added cost and inconvenience, the project remains on course. The following interrelated issues arise:- 1. The Barking Riverside Project is funded and they are ordering trains for the line. Will those trains be built whilst the production line is set? Thus saving money towards an additional unit 2. These trains could be introduced into the regular timetable, in May 2018, providing a 1/2 hourly peak time service ( 7-10am- 4-7pm) between Kensal Rise Sidings and Blackhorse Road Station, if an additional unit were purchased as well, from one of the budgets, it could be Kensal to Woodgrange Park. The trains need only stop at Gospel Oak , on the way to Kensal. The Freight paths just need to be out of peak. Blackhorse would need a crossover until the station is rebuilt to reflect the huge increase in passengers. 3. Junction Road Station could benefit from separate funding sources , such as the one that reopened Lea Bridge Station and the main structural work undertaken during the 2 month closure. Make an Application? 4. The current furore concerning Crossrail 2 leaves me wondering why the full potential of this line is not being utilised. Connections to South West London exist through Thameslink at Kentish Town and there's space to reinstate the 2 platforms there and restore the link from Upper Holloway. 5. What is stopping this line being re signalled and made into a 3 minute Metro between Gospel Oak- Willesden Junction providing the service Blackhorse to Clapham Junction originally proposed in 1974. 6. It's clear that the Lea Valley Line will be 4 tracked, why not open a Station opposite the Ferry Boat in, on the old Thanes Water site with an entrance on the ground west of the Bridge and a subway from Tottenham Hale. 7. Can the Harringey Curve be twin tracked and provide an opportunity to run trains to Kentish Town from New Southgate? 8 one can only hope the platforms are with the exception of South Tottenham and Gospel Oak , already future proofed for 5 car trains and the aforementioned transformed during the closure.

Lutz   28/07/2017 at 00:46

It is NOT on-track, and delivery HAS been postponed; all clearly explained in first two paragraphs. Works are PROJECTED to be completed in January 2018 - still not confident that NR has got it's act together yet. "This project has not been without its difficulties ..." bit of an understatement; who do they think they are kidding. Don't worry, the real judges on this are the ORR.

J, Leicester   28/07/2017 at 08:41

Oh good, at least London get their projects delivered...

Geoff Arnaud Louis Demprent   28/07/2017 at 09:09

I am comparing previous schemes with huge over runs and the deafening silence in respect of finance. Perhaps Network Rail should place the programme of works on their GOBLIN web site and update it weekly. The instances and contract should recover the cost of the delay but I feel commuters will want something more for the inconvenience. Some of my suggestions are relatively cheap and viable. The missing ingredient here is interconnectivity with the NLL. Pressure applied now will achieve this. The line has one of the best Passenger groups in existence , their involvement has been unfairly limited. Their expertise should be sought. Any views on my 8 suggestions would be welcomed in respect of cost and viability.

Jono   28/07/2017 at 12:02

Why has a picture of Maidenhead viaduct been used for this article?

Andrew Gwilt   02/08/2017 at 01:56

@Simon Eames1990. Ah yes, I agree with you Simon. But the only problem is that the Romford-Upminster branch line which includes Romford (platform 1), Emerson Park and Upminster (platform 6) that has a shorter platform. Which means that it is only catered for a 4-car train and there may not be plans to extend the platform at those stations on the Romford-Upminster branch line to cater for a 5-car Class 710 train to stop at those stations that has a short platform. Whilst the other lines that you have mentioned are capable for 5-car Class 710 trains to boost capacity.

Keith Barber   12/12/2017 at 15:18

12/12/2017 - well to the pesseemistic ones amongst you, I have watched progress on this line and i am glad to see that the wires have been up a while now and that progress has been slow, but consistent, even if at times, it looked like nothing was happening from one week to the next, and then, a bit more was done, and occasionally, work was seen in progress, and quietly and without any fuss and ado, the work has been carried out, and the future of this line is assured - electification was proposed in the 1980s, but funding wasnt forthcoming, and the line lurched on as an unreliable "free railway" where fares went mostly uncollected amid frequent breakdowns - until the 150 sprinters arrived and minor improvements were made to the timetable, but with london overground, it has become a much improved service with new trains and better frequency - and with the extension to barking riverside and proposal to extend over the river(?), the line is about to enter a new "golden era", and not just passenger services will be improved, but freight as well - im looking forwards to seeing class 88 and 86 units on the line

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