The East London line is now open between Hackney and Croydon. After several years of renovation and line extension, it is now possible to journey between West Croydon and Dalston Junction in less than 50 minutes. The line hopes to bring together the previously unconnected boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Croydon, in what is the biggest addition to London’s transport network since the Jubilee line extention in 1999.
The line’s opening to Croydon has been marked by a pageant of art and performance to highlight the fact that these areas of London are vibrant and creative communities.
Managing Director of Transport for London (TfL), Ian Brown, explains what effect the East London line will have on Croydon commuters:
The line has successfully opened on time and within budget. More extensions are planned to make transport in east London easier, as Ian Brown explains:
It is hoped that the opening will bring benefits to all of the newly connected communities along the line. Croydon Councillor, Steve O’Connell, believes the area now has exciting economic prospects:
The reopening of the East London line was a project that saw the involvement of many people. Mike Stubbs is the Head of Engineering for London Overground. He was part of a team responsible for overseeing the building of the East London line, and is now ready to hand the project over to those who will operate and maintain it. He says:
“This extension is all a passenger could ever want in Croydon, with a train every fifteen minutes during the weekdays.”
Another TfL representative, Julie Dixon, explains how the East London line lives up to its alias – ‘The Community Railway’:
As the train departed from the West Croydon station, we spoke with some passengers, some of them Croydon residents, to gauge their opinions of the new railway and its spacious carriages. Reactions were unanimously positive:
The East London Lines website team serves the diverse communities of Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Hackney and Croydon. They were also out to celebrate the opening of the line. ELL contributer, Laurie Whitwell, explains that it is important to supplement the railway’s opening with information about the communities that it’s connecting:
Adding glamour and excitement to the ELL team were a group of decoratively clad artists who gave impromptu performances throughout the day. Expressing ideas of connectivity through the mediums of song, poetry, and dance, they wowed the travellers.
As the first day of the East London line extension out to West Croydon draws to a close, Ian Brown and his TfL team have seen their hard work come to fruition. Mr Brown is sure that they have given east London commuters what they asked for:
Contributors: Nikki Marra & Sophie Powling. Pictures by John Sturrock and Tine Hvidsten
Akleriah Coglenet cast:
musicians: Nino Amoroso, Asier Leatxe Ibanez d’Opakoa, Eiko Azuma, Souleymane compo
performers: 1.Emilie Fosnocht 2. Emer Costello 3.Emily Jane Jupp 4. Daria Zhigareva 5. Lenka Johanna-Marie 6. Anna Kompaniets
dancer: Omari Carter
poet: Clodagh Allerfeldt
video: Jason Wen
photos: David Shih , Ryan Li