The first passenger trains on new tracks linking the East London Line to Peckham and Clapham Junction will run on December 9, Transport for London has confirmed.
TfL’s website now claims passenger services will commence in time for Christmas, linking Hackney and Tower Hamlets to south London with a single journey.
The new line will split off from Surrey Quays to wind south-west through Peckham and Denmark Hill towards Clapham High Street and Clapham Junction in Battersea.
Four trains per hour will run between Dalston and Clapham Junction, a major hub for trains in and out of central London from all across the south coast.
The project involved 1.3km of new track built by contractor Birse Metro and major works at Clapham Junction to extend platforms – at a total cost of £75m split between the TfL and the national Department for Transport.
EastLondonLines reported in July that the first test trains had run on the new line, after it was electrified in June.
It means that for the first time Londoners can travel around the whole circumference of London by staying on the overground, although they’ll have to switch trains at Clapham Junction and Dalston Kingsland.
A journey from Shoreditch High Street to Clapham Junction currently means three changes, while getting to Denmark Hill from the same could involve four changes or an hour-long journey by overground and bus.
But southbound passengers beware: the route will add yet another trap for sleepy or unobservant travellers trying to get south via New Cross Gate.
Ruby Pope, 23, a marketing executive who lives in New Cross but works at Canary Wharf, said: “It’s already enough of a scramble to get on the right line when it’s late. I can definitely foresee an increase in the amount of times I’ll have to explain to drunk travellers at New Cross station that, no, sadly, this isn’t Crystal Palace.”
Watch a time-lapse video of the construction of the Surrey Canal bridge below: