The very first test trains have run on the new extension of the London Overground which will given travellers south-east London better rail connections to the rest of the capital.
From December 9, passengers from Lewisham and Croydon will be able to travel on the existing East London Line section of the London Overground along a new electrified section of track to Clapham Junction.
The new extension runs from Surrey Quays along a new section of track to Peckham and then along the existing electrified line to Clapham Junction.
At Clapham, passengers can connect with further London Overground services which run north of the Thames to north west London. The links improve journey options reducing the need to travel through central London.
Four trains an hour will run from Clapham to Highbury and Islington, via Surrey Quays where passengers will have to change to head south to New Cross and Croydon. Travellers heading north will have to change at Surrey Quays to get the Clapham extension.
The extension means that the London Overground becomes a truly orbital rail network, which connects 20 of London’s 33 boroughs.
Transport for London’s Chief Operating Officer for Rail, Howard Smith said: “The electrification and first train journey on this exciting new rail connection, marks the final major milestone in its construction.
“This new track will provide the final link to make London’s hugely successful Overground a fully orbital railway for London. ”
The work is costing about £75 million and is funded by the Mayor of London’s office, TfL, Department for Transport and Network Rail.
It completes a project began in with the start of work on the £1bn line connecting Dalston to New Cross, Crystal Palace and Croydon, which opened in 2010. Last year the line was extended to Highbury and Islington, where it linked to the Overground services between west London and Stratford.
For further details and a map of the new extension please visit the Transport for London website
By Joanne Fagg