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TfL finishes Overground five-car extension programme

Transport for London (TfL) has finished rolling out five-car trains across London Overground routes as part of its year-long £320m investment to increase capacity in the capital.

Started in 2014, the programme has extended the fleet from four to five-car running, boosting capacity by 25% on the East London, West London, North London and Euston to Watford routes.

Previously underused parts of the network were brought back into full use, and new train stabling facilities were built at Silwood, south-east London and in Wembley.

The transport body also had to reconfigure the existing maintenance depots at New Cross Gate and Willesden to accommodate the larger trains.

The longer fleet will provide room for an extra 170 passenger per train.

TfL’s director for London Overground, Mike Stubbs, said: “Over the whole network, we now carry 176m passengers a year, which is six times the number we carried when we took over this railway in 2007.

“The extra carriages that we have now introduced are enabling us to continue to provide our customers with the high quality of safe, reliable and frequent services that they need and expect.”

RTM spoke to Stubbs last year about the completion of the Silwood sidings facility, which will provide overnight siding for 10 five-car trains.

The Overground service will be expanded further once the Gospel Oak to Barking line is electrified and its diesel trains replaced with electric ones in 2018.

The final consultation on the proposed new Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside 4km rail link was launched last month and is due to close on 24 January. If successful, it will be used to seek permission from the transport secretary to start construction.

TfL has also recently secured funding from the European Commission to help build two new Overground stations at Old Oak Common.

(Top image c. TfL)


Andrew Gwilt   08/01/2016 at 01:04

Next is the Class 710's to be built and to be in service next year.

Nonsuchmike   08/01/2016 at 18:33

We need to give credit where it is due here. These two depots and stretched train units have given so much more flexibility to possible train routes as well as easing congestion around central London. However, there is still much to do to make daily journeys pleasant once more rather than teeth-grittingly bearable. The clause that I like best is the one which starts "Previously under-used parts of the network ...", which implies that maybe other dormant bits in the not-too-distant future will be resurrected: rails, points and maybe bridges, flyovers, underpasses will be re-engineered to give better interconnectability and flexibility of routes and/or diversions. And not just around London & the Home Counties, but also further afield in the midlands and north of the country. As the new year brings with it so many good resolutions, we can but hope.

Ian Mcdonald   10/01/2016 at 10:53

These two new stations proposed at Old Oak Common are all well and good, but the plan of the area shows clearly that there will then be no possibility of building cheaply the much-supported spur from Crossrail to the North London Line, to allow the 8 trains per hour (absurdly terminating at Paddington from the east) to be extended over the LM tracks to Tring/Milton Keynes, and thus reduce considerably pressure for the unpopular large-scale rebuild of Euston for HS2 trains.

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