A Tour Of The East London Line Extension To Highbury

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 86 months ago
A Tour Of The East London Line Extension To Highbury

Beneath the streets of Dalston, engineers are working to complete the Western Curve, a 350m tunnel that forms part of the East London line extension from Dalston Junction station to Highbury & Islington, which is due to open next year. Transport for London were kind enough to invite us on a tour to see how the work is progressing.

The track emerges from the curve and runs parallel to the North London line.
The track emerges from the curve and runs parallel to the North London line.
Looking southeast into the curve.
Looking southeast into the curve.
Beneath the Boleyn Street bridge.
Beneath the Boleyn Street bridge.
Looking toward the Kingsland bridge.
Looking toward the Kingsland bridge.
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A disused part of the old curve.
A disused part of the old curve.
Western Curve from Platform 4 at Dalston Junction. The bricked-up wall is the old Eastern Curve, which connected in the opposite direction with the North London line. It may be reopened at some point in the future, but in the meantime at ground level it has been occupied by a community garden.
Western Curve from Platform 4 at Dalston Junction. The bricked-up wall is the old Eastern Curve, which connected in the opposite direction with the North London line. It may be reopened at some point in the future, but in the meantime at ground level it has been occupied by a community garden.
The view from the tracks on Platform 4 at Dalston Junction.
The view from the tracks on Platform 4 at Dalston Junction.
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Beneath the smoke vent.
Beneath the smoke vent.
The smoke vent, viewed from above ground.
The smoke vent, viewed from above ground.
How the Western Curve looked before building work commenced.
How the Western Curve looked before building work commenced.
Canonbury station, June 2010. The two East London line platforms are to the left. Photo / Sunil060902.
Canonbury station, June 2010. The two East London line platforms are to the left. Photo / Sunil060902.
Highbury & Islington, June 2010. The ELL terminates here, at the platforms to the right. Photo / Sunil060902.
Highbury & Islington, June 2010. The ELL terminates here, at the platforms to the right. Photo / Sunil060902.
Map showing the location of the Dalston Western Curve.
Map showing the location of the Dalston Western Curve.

The project is the final part of phase one of the Overground link between Croydon and Dalston Junction that opened earlier this year. The section of that railway north of Shoreditch High Street was built mostly on the existing infrastructure of a line that closed in 1986. The new section continues with that trend, curving northwest out of Dalston Junction, before running in parallel to the North London line to Canonbury and then terminating at Highbury & Islington, where there is an interchange with Overground services to Richmond and Clapham Junction, and the Victoria line.

Though only 2.1km in length, the extension has been a considerable feat of engineering. Much of the tunnel is formed by two road bridges that cross the area between Dalston Lane, Kingsland Road, and Boleyn Road; they needed to be repaired, but without causing major disruption to local residents. Workmen have used a single access ramp off Boleyn Road, allowing Kingsland Road to remain open throughout the project.

The extension will open on 28 February 2011.

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Last Updated 17 December 2010

Jan Altus

Interesting article. I wonder how you managed to identify which platform was which at the new Dalston Junction station because - with a significant lack of platform signs - we regular passengers certainly have no idea which is Platform 1 or 4 or which is the first train leaving the station.