New Overground trains are here - but service remains reduced until the summer
- Credit: Transport for London
Commuters will finally be able to ride on the new-look Overground trains from tomorrow - but regular service will not resume until the summer.
Two electric trains will begin operating on the Barking to Gospel Oak from mid-morning, with further trains set to be introduced over time.
They will supplement the current converted trains which have been used on the line over the last couple of months after the lease on the old diesel ones ended.
The regular service of four trains an hour in each direction is not expected to resume until the summer.
Customers will also be able to benefit from a month's free travel from September, with TfL set to contact passengers about this in the next few weeks.
Jon Fox, TfL's director of rail, said: "It is good news that these London Overground trains are finally here and will make their inaugural passenger run this week.
"This is the first step in returning to the regular timetable and delivering the much-needed capacity on the Gospel Oak to Barking line.
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"We know this has been a long time coming and we will be offering a month of free travel for customers. I am pleased we will now make a real difference to their journeys."
The new trains, which can carry double the amount of passengers that the old diesel ones could, were delayed due to issues with software development.
They have now been appoved by the rail regulator, with around a third of drivers on the line having completed training to use the new vehicles.
Eventually, eight of the state-of-the-art trains - which feature air conditioning and WiFi -
Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: "When I wrote to Bombardier earlier this year I made our frustrations at the delay clear, so I am pleased that the first two new trains will be in operation from tomorrow, and the full timetable will be restored as soon as possible.
"The month's free travel, which was requested by the mayor, is a well-deserved thank you to passengers for their patience."