Barking to Gospel Oak line to be closed for eight months
PUBLISHED: 09:39 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:42 08 February 2016
A major train line in the borough is to be closed for a total of eight months while it is upgraded.
The Barking to Gospel Oak service will cease to run between Barking and South Tottenham from June to September this year and will shut down completely from October until being reopened in February 2017.
It is being closed so Network Rail can electrify the line and also introduce a new fleet of “cleaner, quieter and longer” trains expected to ease congestion and improve air quality.
The £130 million+ scheme will ultimately see the capacity doubled on the line, with the current two-carriage trains being replaced by four-carriage ones from early 2018.
Longer platforms and station upgrades along the route are also promised.
Mike Stubbs, TfL’s Director of London Overground, said: “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.”
Network Rail said the line, which covers 14 miles and runs through six London boroughs, must be upgraded to meet increased demand.
It also claims hundreds of thousands of people living close to the railway will benefit from a reduction in C02 emissions from trains.
The government, meanwhile, has hailed the investment in the capital’s infrastructure.
“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,” Claire Perry, the rail minister, said.
“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.”
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