Monday 30 Nov 2009


Region & Route:
| North West & Central

Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock this Christmas and New Year as the multi-million pound upgrade of the London Overground rail network moves a step further to completion.

The £326m project, which is funded by Transport for London, the Olympic Delivery Authority and Network Rail, has been fast-tracked to ensure completion before 2012 and is being carried out by Network Rail as part of plans to improve rail services in and around the capital.

From late Christmas Eve until the early hours of Monday, 4 January, Network Rail engineers will carry out a massive programme of improvements at locations across the capital, including:

  • An additional interchange between high- and low-level platforms at Willesden Junction station
  • Improving access at Highbury & Islington station
  • Replacing Victorian sewers and drainage along the railway between in Islington
  • A new staircase connecting the ticket office and the eastbound platform at Kensal Rise station
  • Reconstructing a road bridge over the railway near Dalston Kingsland station
  • Installing concrete foundations and new signal gantries at a number of locations

Once the upgrade is complete London Overground will run up to eight trains an hour during peak times on parts of the network, double the current number and with a more reliable timetable for those trains. New and longer platforms at some stations will also allow more carriages per train, which will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding.

Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director, said: “The investment being made on the London Overground network is an integral part of Network Rail’s plans to improve services and build a bigger and better railway in the capital. The project will provide vital additional capacity for the Olympic Games and help meet growing demand on the line, which is expected to rise by a quarter in the next seven years.”

On Christmas Day and Boxing Day no London Overground services will run. Between 27 December and 3 January the Richmond to Stratford line will be closed for improvement work, with amended services operating across the remainder of the Overground network.

Following this Christmas closure there will be further temporary closures of the Richmond to Stratford London Overground line as the project continues in 2010. This will allow Network Rail to carry out track, station and signalling improvement work.

Passengers are advised to check the TfL website for travel information during the festive period.  Full service information is available at or from London Travel Information on 0207 222 1234.

Notes to editors

As the Christmas closure approaches, further details of our work locations and working hours will be available from our website -

The London Overground network consists of the following lines:
Stratford to Richmond; Gospel Oak to Barking; Willesden Junction to Clapham Junction; Euston-Watford Junction (local)

The £326m work package is funded as follows: 76 percent of this amount is provided by TfL (with the Olympic Delivery Authority input of 33 percent), Network Rail is funding 23 percent and the Department for Transport, one percent.

As part of the upgrade Network Rail engineers will:

Upgrade more than 200 signals; 
Renew 7km of track and 69 sets of points; 
Lengthen 30 platforms; 
Improve seven more stations.

Platforms will be extended under the upgrade programme at the following stations: South Acton; Acton Central; Willesden Junction; Kensal Rise; Brondesbury Park; Brondesbury; West Hampstead; Finchley Rd & Frognal; Hampstead Heath; Gospel Oak; Kentish Town West; Camden Rd; Caledonian Rd & Barnsbury; Highbury & Islington; Canonbury; Dalston Kingsland; Homerton; Crouch Hill; Leyton-Midland Road.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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