Hands up if you’re a fan of the Circle Line. What, no one? Well, that’s a pity because London looks set to get a new, improved, bigger and possibly better circular railroad. Yesterday, Ken announced his intentions to link souped-up versions of the North London Line (AKA Silverlink, Freerail, Nutterlink) and the East London Line. There will then be options to link up to existing routes through south London to complete what would effectively be an outer Circle line. Here’s a PDF, if you want to start planning your route from, say, Croydon to Gospel Oak.
Because the tracks already exist, for the most part, this is all going to happen rather quickly.
By joining together the North and East London Railways ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, we will create a new rail artery around the city, serving 20 London boroughs.
Says Ken. The decision also means a more ambitious schedule for the current extension to the East London Line. Extensions to Dalston Junction and Caledonian Road will be brought forward to Phase I, to help link up with the North London Line.
The new route is suddenly on the cards thanks to TfL taking over the North London Line in 2007. The current service is, in many people’s opinions, shambolic and dangerous. Delays and cancellations are seemingly the routine; many stations are unmanned, encouraging crime; and unhelpful Oyster policies and zone boundaries confuse the traveller. The news that the line will be significantly upgraded and linked to the Tube network is very welcome indeed.
Image from Nicobobinus’ Flickr photostream.