East London Line Re-Opening Any Time Soon... Maybe

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 105 months ago
East London Line Re-Opening Any Time Soon... Maybe

Photo / suburbanslice
After a false dawn on Thursday, today's semi-planned commencement of the East London line 'testing period' has again been delayed until... well, nobody quite wants to say when. On a visit to Shadwell this morning the sheepish-looking Overground staff milling about outside were reluctant to offer a date, but did insist that it would happen in the coming days. Maybe.

Behind the scenes, the picture remains murky. There is talk of technical difficulties with the on-train cameras, and dark rumours swirl that the real obstacle is Boris Johnson. The Mayor's attempt to pull off his usual stunt and assume credit for a project that he had little to do with has run into the buffers: opponents are incensed that he might use this grandstanding opportunity to sway voters in marginal seats along the new line's route, particularly during the pre-election purdah. Boris isn't the only one playing politics: in a bizarre episode, Ken Livingstone popped up at Dalston Junction on Thursday morning to bemoan the lack of activity on a service that he did much to push forward.

The official opening date remains May 23rd, and in truth nobody connected with the line has said anything official about it opening early, so Londoners shouldn't be too incensed if we're waiting till after the election before jumping aboard. But for those living near the elevated sections of the route, the sight of those glossy orange-and-white-liveried carriages regularly piling along the Victorian viaduct is a tantalising glimpse of the transport nirvana that awaits residents of east and southeast London.

In the meantime, there's still our photo tour of the new line, and a video from the driver's cab, for your delectation.

Last Updated 19 April 2010