Cookies and We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy to receive them.
You can read more about how we use cookies, and turn them off, on this page.


Vital work paves the way for electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line

01 February 2016

Passengers and residents across north and east London are set to benefit from a major upgrade to the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking as part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan. 

The more than £130m scheme will electrify the line ready for a new fleet of cleaner, quieter and longer trains that will ease congestion and improve air quality.

Network Rail is delivering the project, which is being funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). The project will see TfL introduce new four-carriage electric trains to replace the existing two-carriage diesel trains from January 2018, helping to meet growing passenger demand.

Hundreds of thousands of people living close to the line – which covers 14 miles and runs through six London boroughs – will also benefit from a reduction in CO2 emissions from the railway.

In order to electrify the railway, overhead wires and the structures to support them need to be installed, and three new switching stations constructed.

To make room for this new infrastructure, four sections of the track will be lowered, four bridges will be rebuilt and a further six modernised. TfL will also be investing in lengthening the platforms and enhancing stations to accommodate the longer trains. Network Rail has already started work on the foundations for the structures that will carry the overhead wires.

Due to the scale and complex nature of the work, a phased eight-month closure of the line is necessary, starting in June 2016. This consists of a part closure from early June to late September 2016 with trains running between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham during weekdays, and a full closure of the line from October 2016 to early February 2017. TfL will be providing rail replacement buses which will operate along the route.

This is a vital project to keep pace with continued growing demand for rail. This investment will transform the service on this route, doubling capacity with cleaner, quieter electric trains and is a key element of the Railway Upgrade Plan.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director

Customers along the line will reap the benefits when work to electrify the route is complete. It will allow for new longer walk-through trains to operate from January 2018, which will double capacity to meet growing demand on the route. It will also enable a new rail extension to Barking Riverside, which will support up to 11,000 new homes.

We recognise that eight months is an extensive disruption for our customers, but this is minimised for the first four months by being a partial closure during the week, followed then by a full line closure. We continue to work with Network Rail to see if the timescales they set out can be reduced.

Mike Stubbs, TfL's director of London Overground

We are investing record amounts in transforming our rail network, and when this major work completes, passengers will benefit from better journeys on less congested, cleaner and quieter trains.

In the short term there will be disruption, but Network Rail and TfL are doing all they can to keep passengers informed and ensure any inconvenience is kept to a minimum. I’d like to thank passengers and residents for their patience, and I am looking forward to seeing these improvements delivered.

Rail Minister Claire Perry

From June to September 2016, there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking on weekdays and no service between Gospel Oak and Barking on weekends. From October 2016 until early February 2017 there will be no service on the entire line between Gospel Oak and Barking. Further works to have the line ready for electric trains will take place during evenings and weekends only and will be completed by the end of June 2017.

TfL will provide detailed advice to help get customers around throughout the closure. Information will be made available via email alerts, Twitter @LDNOverground, posters and announcements in stations.

Find out more about the project