Large Chunk Of Overground To Close From June

By M@ Last edited 24 months ago
Large Chunk Of Overground To Close From June

GOOD NEWS: the Gospel Oak to Barking line is about to get a major upgrade.
BAD NEWS: large parts of the line will be out of action until early 2018.

The Overground route, affectionately abbreviated to the GOBLIN line, is something of an anachronism in London. Its two-car trains still shunt back and forth on diesel. The £133m investment will not only electrify the line, but also double capacity with the introduction of four-car walk-through trains.

Image of an existing two-car train by M@.

The price we have to pay is significant closures to the line, which should look like this:

4 June to 26 September 2016: there will be no rail service whatsoever between South Tottenham and Barking. Services will run from Gospel Oak to South Tottenham during weekdays, but not at weekends.

26 September to sometime in February 2017: the line will be totally closed over its full length, on weekdays and weekends. It will then reopen in early February.

March-June 2017: regular closures at weekends and evenings for testing.

Early 2018: New four-car electric trains enter service.

The conversion of the line requires more engineering work than you might imagine. All the kit needed for electrification must be installed. Tracks will be lowered at several locations, and four bridges must be replaced. Platforms must be extended to allow four-car trains. For a slick overview of the works, watch this Network Rail video.

The closures are obviously going to affect a lot of people. Replacement buses will operate along much of the route, but we all know how annoying they can be.

Those seeking alternative routes may have concerns that they'd have to dip in and out of zone 1, raising the cost of a journey that would normally stick to zones 2, 3 and 4. According to TfL, "regular pay as you go users of the Gospel Oak to Barking line will be automatically refunded the additional cost of travel via zone 1 by tube or rail". That word 'regular' is defined as at least three times a week. More casual than that, and you'll have to pay the full fare — as will travelcard holders.

For more details on the closures, see TfL's website.

Last Updated 23 May 2016


Out of interest: at which point during the upgrade will the Barking Riverside extension be completed? (assuming that the extension goes ahead)


What I wonder is if there are plans to change the Overground routing entirely. At the moment North London Line Overgrounds are electric and can't go up the Goblin, but presumably with everything being electrified then you could start to route some trains up there.

Melvyn Windebank

GOBLIN is only a small line in relation to the whole Overground but electrification will require track lowering and bridges to be re-built hence the need for complete closure . I used the line today and signs of electrification like bases for overhead supports and some upright supports are already in place .

As for Barking Riverside extension that will no happen until at least 2020 maybe later .

Given the new trains ordered are not expected until 2018 then users will hope that TFL manage to obtain some surplus EMUS so longer electric trains can be introduced once line is electrified .

Barney Laurance

One of the bridges that's being replaced carries Wightman Road over the GOBLIN between Harringay and Crouch Hill. A temporary bridge has been put in but it only carries pedestrians, not motor vehicles, and large concrete blocks have been left in the middle of the road at several points along the mile of road to the north. It's inconvenient for motorists but makes the road much more pleasant to spend time on and is great for cycling.

Greg Tingey

And even then, it's not being done right, as I understand that at least one of the links to other electrified track will not be wired up "to save money" supposedly. The Blackhorse Road station rebuild, desperately needed may not be done properly, either ....