East London Line extension will open ahead of schedule and be on budget

ELL train Photo: McKenzieLondon on Flickr

The new East London Line extension will open in spring, not in February as has been claimed on some council websites.

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) confirmed the extension will be running “sometime in the spring”, which is later than Hackney Council website’s estimate but still well ahead of the project’s original summer opening. The extension will also be delivered “on budget”.

The 2-kilometre stretch of rail connects Dalston Junction to Canonbury and Highbury & Islington overground stations, with a service every seven minutes, making it quicker and easier to get around London than ever before.

Passengers will be able to continue their journeys from the north London stations, using London Overground services to Stratford, Richmond and Clapham Junction, as well the London Underground Victoria line and National Rail services.

TfL spokesman, Allan Ramsay, said: “The opening of the new link will really open up the benefits of using the London Overground East London route, which was opened in May 2010.

With eight trains every hour linking directly with the Victoria line at Highbury & Islington station, travellers heading north have a quick and easy connection to north London.  Those heading south have a fast and frequent connection to Docklands, Canary Wharf and beyond.”

Upgrades on the rest of the North London Line to Richmond will follow over the next few months and passengers will have to cope with frequent closures while the works are carried out.

The new section is the biggest transport infrastructure project for London since the opening of the Jubilee Line extension in 1999 and it is anticipated that over 5.7 million journeys will be made every year on the Highbury & Islington extension.

70,000 people use the current stretch of East London Line each day, with most avoiding the headache of central London as they make their daily commute.

See  also: East London Line Opens

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