End in sight for delayed Overground electrification


The electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line will now not be completed until early next year, with new electric trains due to enter passenger service in the spring.

Network Rail has set out its timescale and proposed plan for completing the project, which had been due to finish last month, involving ongoing disruption to services.


It said the electrification installation will be completed in January 2018, enabling testing of the new ‘double-length’ - four carriages instead of two - electric trains and driver training to begin, with trains to start entering passenger service from spring 2018.

Current diesel services will continue to run as normal until replaced by the new four-carriage trains.

Route managing director Meliha Duymaz said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Network Rail said weekend closures will take place from this Saturday (29 July) to Sunday 10 September. Discussions are 'ongoing' with Transport for London, train and freight operators to finalise agreements for additional weekend closures in the autumn, and two longer closures required to complete electrification.

The infrastructure operator’s recent annual report identified the project as one of two ‘significant project milestones’ it had not met.

The electrification of the existing line will be followed by a £263m extension to Barking Riverside, east London's largest housing development.


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