The East London Line edged closer to completion this week after Transport for London began testing the new one billion pound track between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction on Monday.
Drivers ran trains at 10mph along the track to check for things like clearance between track and platforms, and power supply.
A spokesman for TFL said the test run, which is standard practice, was successful. He said: “This was just the first stage in a long process of testing this exciting new railway before it opens in 2010. The first day of train trials went well, and we can now move to the next stage where we start running the trains up and down the line at higher speeds. These are great days in the process of readying this £1billion project to give to the public next year.”
The original East London line which once connected New Cross to Shoreditch closed in December 2007 for refurbishment to allow an extension programme to get underway. The improved East London Line due to open in June 2010 will connect commuters in Dalston, to New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon. As part of the improvements, the line will also be serviced by a brand-new fleet of high-tech trains designed for passenger comfort and security. These trains will run more frequently with a train every five minutes in each direction.
Although the trains in this week’s testing ran at only 10mph, future tests will be taking place between now and mid-January 2010 in which train speeds will increase incrementally until they reach the final 45 mph that will be the average speed on this line.