New year revamp for passengers on Bakerloo line and London Overground: Kenton station platform canopies after December 2022 upgrade work

Wednesday 11 Jan 2023

New year revamp for passengers on Bakerloo line and London Overground

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: West Coast Mainline South

Passengers are now benefiting from major improvements to the Bakerloo line and London Overground between London Euston and Watford Junction.

Network Rail engineers worked over seven days in the run up to Christmas to overhaul track and equipment on a 20-mile stretch of railway and upgrade five stations in north London.

North Wembley, South Kenton, Kenton, Headstone Lane and Carpenders Park saw a combination of roof repairs, canopy renovations, guttering clearance, platform resurfacing and the installation of tactile paving to improve safety for blind and partially sighted people.

On the track itself the investment saw:

  • 6,000 modern concrete sleepers installed in place of wooden ones dating back to the 1950s
  • 1.6km of railway drainage upgrades between Harlesden and Kenton to prevent future flooding
  • 10km of new cabling for signals – traffic lights for trains
  • Upgrades to the power supply for Underground and Overground trains
  • Demolition of a derelict, railway-locked electricity substation in danger of collapse

The track work will bring improved journey reliability while the spruced-up stations will make travelling a more pleasurable and safer experience for passengers.

The full closure meant maintenance teams could carry out multiple complex projects at once which would otherwise have taken years of weekend or overnight working.

For instance, 7-8 years of midweek overnight shifts would have been needed to get the sleepers replaced.

For the 10km of new signalling cable, it’s estimated 10 years of work was condensed into the seven-day-closure, saving both time and taxpayers’ money.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “We’re really grateful to passengers for their patience while we closed the railway just before Christmas so we could carry out these essential projects.

“It enabled us to bring sections of track right into the 21st century with new equipment which is much more reliable and robust. We were also able to transform five stations making them cleaner and brighter – I hope people enjoy using them much more as a result. Next month we’ll be returning to carry out even more work to improve the Bakerloo line and London Overground for the future.”

Rory O’Neill, TfL’s general manager for London Overground, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience while Network Rail made these vital infrastructure improvements designed to increase train reliability and customer comfort.  Our goal is always to provide our customers with the safest and most reliable service possible, and these Network Rail improvements will help to ensure we can do just that.”

Between Saturday 11 and Sunday 19 February the same stretch of railway will be closed for similar essential improvements to remaining stations, track and line side equipment, including 5,000 more sleepers being replaced.

The scale of the work means the Bakerloo line between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone and the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction will once again be closed.

Over the nine-day closure, Transport for London passengers affected by the upgrades can complete their journeys by using alternative rail lines, existing or temporary bus routes*.

Passengers are being advised to plan ahead by checking or the Transport for London (TfL) Go app.

Once complete these improvements will help tackle flooding and reduce the number of power and signal failures which often lead to train cancellations, helping provide confidence when using London Overground and Bakerloo line services.

Notes to Editors

Bakerloo line and London Overground customers are encouraged to use existing bus services to connect to alternative rail routes, including the nearby Metropolitan or Jubilee lines.

Temporary bus routes 718, 719 and 720 will be available during the closure periods.

These will run between Watford Junction and Harrow & Wealdstone, and between Harrow & Wealdstone and Queen’s Park, and will cost the same as a standard bus fare. TfL’s Hopper fare gives customers unlimited bus journeys for £1.65, made within one hour of touching in.

Customers for central London should use London Northwestern Railway services from Watford Junction, Bushey, Harrow & Wealdstone or Wembley Central, which will operate as normal.

There will be fewer services running on the rest of the Bakerloo line between Elephant & Castle and Queen’s Park during the closure periods as there will be no access to one of TfL’s depots meaning fewer trains are available. Service frequency on the remainder of the line is available on TfL Go and

Any journalists needing more information about service provision during the upgrades are advised to contact the TfL press office on 0343 222 4141.

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 - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

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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