Gospel Oak to Barking electrification

Network Rail is carrying out work to electrify the Gospel Oak to Barking route as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.

This programme of works on behalf of the Department for Transport and Transport for London will double the current capacity for passengers on the line and improve air quality for people who live and work near the railway.

From 2018, new four-carriage electric trains will provide double the current capacity so that twice as many people can travel more comfortably on this route.

Rebuilding the railway

We have lowered five sections of track between Walthamstow Queens Road and Gospel Oak stations to create space for overhead wires and structures to carry them. We have also reconstructed or strengthened 10 bridges along the 14 mile route that runs through seven London boroughs, and constructed three electrical switching stations.

Modernising Victorian infrastructure in a constricted space is exceptionally complex, and in some areas the design and materials required have had to be changed. Further work will be needed to complete the electrification of the route before the arrival of new trains in early 2018. A revised schedule of work is being finalised and we will share this as soon as possible.


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Better for the environment

Switching from diesel to electric trains will improve air quality for our lineside neighbours. The environmental impact of all materials used and our actions have been carefully considered in order to improve local biodiversity. Examples include:

  • using recycled oil and gas pipes as steel piles
  • selecting sustainable materials wherever possible – all timber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
  • delivering over 90 per cent of materials by rail to reduce traffic disruption for lineside neighbours
  • offsetting unavoidable loss of biodiversity locally

Passenger disruption

Two-car diesel services returned on Monday 27 February following a phased eight-month closure.

Further closures will be needed over a series of weekends and weeks later this year, to complete the installation of structures and overhead wires needed to power new electric trains set to arrive in early 2018.

Lineside neighbours

We are keeping immediate lineside neighbours and businesses informed with regular update letters and also offer email updates. To receive these, please email GOBE@networkrail.co.uk with your name and address.