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Overground between Gospel Oak and Barking to reopen after ‘once-in-a-generation upgrade’

London Overground services are set to return between Gospel Oak and Barking next week following the installation of new overhead electric lines.

Opening on Monday 15 January, the work will allow new electric trains to be introduced on the line, in what Network Rail is calling a “once-in-a-generation upgrade.”

The line is operated by TfL, and will now undergo testing with the intention of running electrical services by spring of 2018.

When services resume next week, the existing two-car diesel trains will be used until the new four car electric trains have been fully tested and driver training complete.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of rail and sponsored services, welcomed the upgrades and thanked customers who had been inconvenienced by the line being shut.

He said the new stock which would be introduced on the line would consist of “new, more reliable and longer electric trains” improving journeys for passengers.

Now that the track is reopened, services will run every 15 minutes until the late evening, and at least every 20 minutes after 22:00. It will provide interchanges with the Victoria Line at Blackhorse Road and Hammersmith & City, and both District Line and c2c services at Barking.

The work was part of Network Rail’s London Railway Upgrade plan, which it claims will increase peak hour capacity by 30%.

Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, Meliha Duymaz, commented: “Passengers travelling on the Gospel Oak to Barking line are set to benefit from a transformational, once-in-a-generation upgrade with a new fleet of longer, electric trains so that twice as many people can travel comfortably, once line testing is complete.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to our railway neighbours and passengers for their enormous patience and understanding while we worked to improve this busy London route.”

It should be noted that Network Rail still needs to carry out some improvements to the Crouch Hill Bridge, which crosses the Gospel Oak to Barking line, which means no London Overground services will operate on this line over the weekend of 7 and 8 April, with services returning on 9 April.

Top image: Network Rail

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Andrew Gwilt   10/01/2018 at 18:27

Well another achievement that is almost completed by Network Rail. The new LO 4-Car Class 710’s EMUs will be operated on the newly electrified GOBLIN (Gospel Oak-Barking) line from May. Aswell to operate on the Euston-Watford DC line and on the Lea Valley lines and Romford-Upminster line that it will replace the Class 315’s and Class 317’s. With the 2-Car Class 172/0’s DMUs will soon be transferred to West Midlands Trains to operate on the Coventry-Nuneaton and Coventry-Leamington Spa routes from 2019. With Kenilworth station due to reopen in February this year. Also electric freight trains would also be using the GOBLIN line.

Ian H   10/01/2018 at 21:54

Really Andrew. That’s all you have to comment on? Trains!! Not the delays, missed deadline or the months of inconvenience suffered by ineptitude. No let’s call this an achievement I sincerely hope the person who designed the 14 miles of incorrect track and his supervisor have been sacked as this latest 2 months of closures did not need to happen

Andrew Gwilt   10/01/2018 at 22:18

Well that’s why London Overground are receiving the new trains that will be longer than the current trains. As the Class 378’s have been extended to 5-Cars.

Mikeb   11/01/2018 at 09:39

@Ian H. You are wasting your time saying anything about Andrew's comments. Different types of trains, where they operate and where they may be transferred to appears to be his one and only interest. He is not going to change, so there is little point in anyone trying to get him stick to the news story.

Mark Stay From Colchester   11/01/2018 at 14:13

How about cascading the 170s to the Gainsborough line?

Andrew JG   11/01/2018 at 19:33

If there were plans to transfer some of the Class 172’s to be used on the Gainsborough branch line (AKA Marks Tey-Sudbury branch line) then it might of happened. But no. It’s unlikely going to happen. Greater Anglia have ordered the Stadler Flirt Class 755’s Bi-Mode trains that will operate on that line aswell on other local lines in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. London Overground could use some of the Class 172’s on the West Ealing-Greenford branch Line. But Chiltern Railways will operate on the Greenford branch line and to use few of their Class 166’s or Class 168’s.

Andrew Gwilt   12/01/2018 at 02:46

@Mikeb. “He is not going to change, so there is little point in anyone trying to get him stick to the news story”. Really Mikeb. Oh I’m sorry that no matter what I comment or put down my own opinions. And I’m so boring no matter what I comment. Well it’s 2018 and 2017 went so quick.

Trevor Hull   12/01/2018 at 05:24

Waste of millions of £'s! An extra car the 170/3's and five an hour instead of four would have solved the lines problems in an instant. Someone's pocketed millions out of this fiasco!

Ronnie268   12/01/2018 at 09:52

Part of the motivation for the electrification was to allow electric freight trains to use the line. Also, the signalling is only good for 8tph (4tph passenger and 4tph freight) as far as I am aware. If the line continues to see the same growth as other LO lines have, resignalling will have to follow soon.

David   12/01/2018 at 10:12

So somehow it's not a good thing that an electrification project has actually been completed and a "black sheep" diesel line eliminated??

Billd   12/01/2018 at 16:53

Now that this electrification project has been finished, where will the electrification team be redeployed to? Or is there no strategic view?

JH   12/01/2018 at 18:25

I think the line needs to be electrified to take the pressure off Stratford with the introduction of crossroad. I agree that there should always be a programme of electrication no matter how small to keep up expertise ect.

Anonymous   13/01/2018 at 07:28

I also agree with JH on what he said.

James   13/01/2018 at 20:04

They need build an interchange with the Piccadilly Line at Harringay Green Lanes so we can get some serious interchangeability going on - get some serious cross London travel opportunities available.

John Gilbert   13/01/2018 at 22:46

Following on Billd's thoughts as to where the electrification teams will be employed next, the obvious candidate, in any other country than stupid, short-sighted England, would be the goods line to the new London Gateway port terminal, which, as I understand it. is neither electrified nor planned to be!! This would indeed enable electrically-hauled freights to reach Thameside. But what is needed is the vision, the drive, the lack of general gaumlessness in our politicians and civil servants. (A lack which is also responsible for a Felixstowe line still, STILL, mainly single-tracked!!! Quite extraordinary!

Mike Townsend   30/01/2018 at 20:45

The new style of overhead line equipment being used is by far the most repulsive design ever seen! It looks oversized with bulging and twisted looking supports, mk 2/3 styles were far more appealing and aesthetic, but these new support gantries and booms as well as the catenary looks absolutely awful

Gareth   06/02/2018 at 07:51

All this work, inconvenience and expense will not improve my commute to work. I always get a seat from BHO to LER at 7:51 and almost always on any rush hour train going home. If you’d asked me I would have told you to DOUBLE THE FREQUENCY of 2-car trains, not double the length of trains I hang around for up to 15 minutes- the longest wait on non-spur TfL services. This electrification seems more linked to freight services than passengers. Tell me I’m wrong.

Keith Barber   28/02/2018 at 16:48

Lets just be grateful that all the chaos and inconvenience of the electrification work is behind us and I for one will be glad to see electric trains actually running at long last. It's all too easy to forget that just 20 or so years ago this line was in the pits with old diesel units that were breaking down constantly and the line was "London free railway", due to non existent fare collection by the guards/conductors and travelling on the line wasn't a pleasant experience - the sprinters restored reliability and gave 10(?) Years service but the line has not been in better shape in many years

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