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New London Overground routes off to rough start

The new London Overground routes are off to a rough start as the first two weeks of operation have been beset by problems and delays.

On 31 May London Overground took over services to 28 stations previously served by Abellio Greater Anglia, including lines out of Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield.

But “defective train issues” have led to cancellations, delays and trains being made up of fewer carriages than they should have been, resulting in many passengers left standing and crowded on-board.

The issues have hit especially hard on the Liverpool Street, Chingford, Chestnut and Enfield Town route, which has seen only 89.9% of trains run on time.

An online petition has been launched by one unhappy passenger calling on TfL to improve efficiency.

The petition, which has so far attracted 472 signatures, states: “The standard of service on the Lines recently taken over by London Overground has fallen to a level beyond unacceptable.  As commuters we are outraged by the drop in service the moment that TfL took over. We feel the need to remind TfL that commuters have responsibilities at work or simply need to get to get to their destination. 

“Particularly, the Chingford to Liverpool Street Service has suffered disruption, however, Enfield to Liverpool Street is suffering too. 

“Also affected are commuters further up the line as they simply cannot board overfull, short trains. Trains are full to capacity as near as one stop away from the beginning of the line, you are not likely to board if you are at Higham Park, Wood Street or further on and no chance if you are at Bethnal Green or Hackney Downs. Simply put battery hens would not be allowed to be transported in the conditions we are being subjected to.”

Other passengers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration.

TfL's director of London Overground, Mike Stubbs, said  in a statement last week: "We apologise to customers for the disruption to services last week, which was primarily caused by reliability issues with the trains we inherited on the route. 

"Some of these trains are over 30 years old and we have been experiencing some technical issues with them.

"We are working hard with our operator London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL) to resolve these and improve reliability and customer satisfaction as we have done with the rest of the London Overground network."


The London Overground

From 31 May 2015


Total route length

167km (104 miles)

+43km (27 miles)

Total number of stations

111 stations

+28 stations

Number of stations managed by LOROL

81 stations

+24 stations

Number of services



Number of trains

36 five-car, 52 four-car and 8 two-car

+31 four-car units


Around 1,500

Around 1,200

(Table source: LOROL)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Neil Palmer   17/06/2015 at 17:06

Trying to blame the 30 year old trains is a pretty lame excuse. They're the same 30 year old trains AGA were running the week before LO took over, so what did LO screw up?

Rayjk   21/06/2015 at 15:54

They are NOT all the same trains that AGA were running on that route previously. Inside info is that AGA stinted on maintenance and cherry picked which ones were passed on and which they kept for themselves from a much larger fleet which has been split three ways. Perhaps you didn't know about that Neil. LO have never had to run trains which get split and joined before. They are learning the hard way that AGA put defective cabs in the joins where they wouldn't show. It's rough when you have to learn from somebody else's mistakes. Rougher still on the commuters who are suffering from the effects.

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