Passengers on part of the London Overground network are to get a month of free travel because of delays in upgrading and electrifying the line – and the manufacturer of the trains will pick up the tab.
Transport for London (TfL) said the Gospel Oak to Barking line is now exclusively operated by new four-car electric air-conditioned trains, ‘doubling capacity, restoring a 15-minute frequency and bringing greater reliability to the service’.
In order to celerbate and ‘thank customers for their patience during the delay bringing the new trains into service’, mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL are offering passengers free travel on the line in September.
The free travel from Saturday 31 August to Tuesday 1 October inclusive will be funded by Bombardier Transportation.
Phil Hufton, president, UK Region, Bombardier Transportation, said: 'It's our pleasure to fund the mayor's initiative to say thank you to Gospel Oak to Barking passengers, and to celebrate the arrival of Bombardier's new British-built electric trains that are already transforming the daily commute on this line.'
TfL said the new electric trains can carry nearly 700 people and feature free WiFi, real-time information screens, air-conditioning, USB charging points and more wheelchair spaces.
The first of the new trains, which have replaced diesel trains, began carrying passengers in late May, and over the summer more units have been tested and brought into service to bring the line, which is used by 30,000 people daily, back up to its full four trains per hour frequency.