Gospel Oak Barking Line

The UK’s Network Rail has confirmed that major upgrade works will soon start on the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking, as part of plans to introduce cleaner, quieter and longer trains.

To be carried out as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the £130m project will electrify the line, lengthen the platforms and improve stations to accommodate the new longer trains.

In order to perform this work, the line will be part-closed from early June to late September. Trains will run between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham on weekdays, and there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking on weekdays and no services at all on weekends.

"This is a vital project to keep pace with continued growing demand for rail."

Funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL), the works will enable the introduction of eight four-car electric trains from early 2018, replacing two-car diesel trains.

TfL noted that during the eight-month closure, it will be providing rail replacement buses that will operate along the route.

Network Rail route managing director Richard Schofield said: "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."

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The electrification of the 14-mile line, which runs through six London boroughs, will be completed by the end of next June.

Works to have the line ready for electric trains will take place during evenings and weekends only.

As part of the electrification, overhead wires and structures will be installed and three new switching stations will be built.

Network Rail has already started work on the foundations for the structures that will carry the overhead wires.

As part of the project, four sections of track will be lowered, four bridges will be rebuilt and a further six modernised.

Image: TfL will introduce new four-carriage electric trains from January 2018. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.