Electrifying news on the Gospel Oak – Barking Overground line! Danny Alexander will concede today that the long-demanded and much-needed electrification will go ahead. The upgrade will reduce pollution and ease overcrowding on this popular route.
The improvement work had attracted widespread support, including a southtottenham.org petition to electrify the Gospel Oak Barking line (many thanks to everyone who signed!).
A TfL press release confirms: “A £90m commitment to carry out electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking overground line, as a first step towards the extension of the line to Barking Riverside, unlocking thousands of homes”
The idea of future extension of the line is an interesting one. Electrification may also allow easier running of trains further west on the existing Overground to Hampstead and beyond.
The upgrade is much needed as passenger numbers have shot up. The latest figures for South Tottenham station show it handling 657,598 entries or exits. That’s compared to 441,988 the year before and just 45,834 in 2004-05.
In May, TfL’s Commissioner of Transport Peter Hendy confirmed that electrification would lead to “three-car or longer electric services once the work is complete”. This would be a massive capacity increase on the current two-car diesel trains.
The timing of the upgrade is yet to be announced but with preliminary plans already in place it could take only a year or two to see the service up and running.
South Tottenham station itself will also be getting an overhaul. Revised plans to install lifts, making the station more accessible, have been lodged with the Council and are open for comments.
The fate of the former ticket office, now La Fonda de Maria, is still undecided.