Limited services along the East London line could commence as early as 4 April, EastLondonLines understands. Transport for London confirmed that up to 12 trains will run along the line every hour but said this will depend on the success of tests.
TfL will now begin to train staff, install ticket machines in stations and run a series of tests to ensure that the service is fully functional by the time it opens to the public.
The tests include emergency drills with personnel and stress testing, where large real-life scenarios are enacted as if passengers were on board.
TfL are hoping the line will be open no later than June of this year but added: “There is good reason to believe that it may be opened ahead of the projected time of early June”.
A spokesman from TfL said: “We have now entered the final stages in the development. Stations along the line require finishing touches”.
Once opened, the East London line will stretch from Dalston Junction to West Croydon, connecting communities left out by a route that previously ran from Shoreditch to New Cross Gate.
Travel times have been already calculated and it is estimated that it will take 47 minutes to travel from Dalston Junction to West Croydon, and 37 minutes from Dalston Junction to Crystal Palace.
Though most of the building had been completed, construction companies Balfour Beatty and Carillion, will still be working on the site to complete the final touches. The two companies started the extension project in October 2006 when they were awarded £363 million to undertake the building works.
The expansion of the East London line is part of TfL’s £10 billion Investment Programme, aimed at improving public transport in time for the 2012 Olympics, mainly held in east London.