London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line to re-open as electrification of the line nears completion

  • Gospel Oak to Barking line to fully re-open on Monday 15 January
  • The new electrified line will be fully tested ahead of new state-of -the-art trains being introduced in spring 2018

London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line reopens on Monday 15 January following the installation of new overhead electric lines by Network Rail, that will enable new longer electric trains to run from spring 2018.

The completion of this physical work by Network Rail will now be followed by testing that will, from spring, enable Transport for London (TfL) to run new state-of-the-art electric trains, providing customers with increased capacity and feature walk-through carriages, air conditioning, live network information screens and improved reliability.  The new cleaner electric trains will also improve air quality for people living and working along the route.

When services resume next week the existing two car diesel trains will be used until the new four car electric trains have been fully tested and driver training complete. 

Customers will again see services running every 15 minutes throughout the day until late evening and at least every 20 minutes after 22:00.   Connecting Gospel Oak station in north London with Barking in east London, the re-opened line will again provide convenient interchanges with the Victoria line at Blackhorse Road and Hammersmith & City, District line and c2c services at Barking.

The electrification work on the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line is part of TfL’s improvement plans, enabling new longer trains with greater capacity to run from spring 2018, and forms part of Network Rail’s London Railway Upgrade plan, creating new connections and increasing capacity in the peak hour by 30 per cent.

Improvements to the London Overground network are included in the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy, which aims to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city by improving public transport and reducing reliance on car journeys.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s Director of Rail and Sponsored Services, said:  “I welcome the return of services to the Gospel Oak to Barking line and would like to thank customers for their patience while Network Rail completed this stage of the electrification works.  A period of testing of the new electrified line will now take place ahead of introducing new, more reliable and longer electric trains in the spring.”

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Passengers travelling on the Gospel Oak to Barking line are set to benefit from a transformational, once in a generation upgrade with a new fleet of longer, electric trains so that twice as many people can travel comfortably, once line testing is complete.  I’d like to say a big thank you to our railway neighbours and passengers for their enormous patience and understanding while we worked to improve this busy London route.” 

Testing of the new electrical infrastructure and the new trains will take place in-between normal services and at night to ensure it does not affect customer journeys.

Network Rail still needs to carry out some improvements to the Crouch Hill Bridge, which crosses the Gospel Oak to Barking line, which means no London Overground services will operate on this line over the weekend of Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 April.  Services will restart on Monday 9 April.