VIDEO: work to electrify railway between Gospel Oak and Barking 80% complete: Gospel Oak to Barking structure installation

Thursday 1 Dec 2016

VIDEO: work to electrify railway between Gospel Oak and Barking 80% complete

South East

Work to electrify the last London Overground route is 80% complete, a key milestone in the £133m upgrade to the railway between Gospel Oak and Barking, which will see two car diesel trains replaced with four car electric trains from 2018.

Engineers have spent the last five months lowering over three miles of track at five sites between Gospel Oak and Barking, to make way for new masts that will carry overhead wires to power new electric trains. Video footage has captured some of the work taking place along the route.

Work completed includes:

  • 1,700 metres of track lowered through the heart of Walthamstow from Pretoria Avenue (close to Blackhorse Road Station) to Queens Road (just beyond Walthamstow Queens Road Station)
  • Lowering the whole of Walthamstow Queens Road Station including platforms, ramps and stairs
  • Working against the clock to lower track between Gospel Oak and Upper Holloway during the October half term, as not to disrupt a local schools
  • Lowering the railway through a Victorian tunnel between Crouch Hill and Harringay Green Lanes
  • Connecting the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and the East Coast Main Line to provide an additional route for electrified freight traveling between the lines
  • The first overhead wires were installed at Barking in mid-November


Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “At 80 per cent complete, it won’t be long until the last diesel operated London Overground route is electrified, helping to meet growing passenger demand as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We’re now focused on installing the overhead line and power switching stations so that we can reopen the route next year. I’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience while the work is carried out.”

Engineers are now focused on installing over 100km of overhead wires and over 600 structures to support them, and three power switching stations to power new trains. The two-car diesel trains will return once the project is complete in February next year, until the new electric trains arrive in 2018.

Passengers and residents across north and east London will benefit from the work to electrify the route, which is part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan, and includes:

  • The introduction of new longer electric trains from 2018 with twice as much space
  • Hundreds of thousands of people living close to the line – which covers 14 miles and runs through seven London boroughs – will also benefit from a reduction in CO2emissions from the railway.

Network Rail is delivering the project, which is being funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). J Murphy & Sons is the main contractor.

Notes to editors

  • Electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking route is an £133m investment jointly funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.
  • The route runs for 14 miles through seven London boroughs.
  • Passenger demand on the route has doubled since 2008 resulting in overcrowding at peak times.
  • For project updates follow @NetworkRailGOBE on Twitter or visit

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 - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515

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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.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 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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