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‘Live testing’ on ELL started today

Tuesday, April 27 2010

Class 378 units at Hoxton and Haggerston stations on the East London Line, January 05, 2010. YouTube video by Bramleyhousemedia.

‘Live testing’ (test trains carrying fare paying passengers) started today on the East London Line London Overground extension. Test trains without passengers have been running for several months.

The East London line’s re-incarnation as part of the London Overground is but the latest stage in the line’s long and chequered history. The line was opened in 1869 by the East London Railway Company. Trains ran through Marc Isambard Brunel’s Thames Tunnel. At first the line was operated jointly by six railway companies. The line became part of the London Underground network in 1933, though British Railways goods services continued to use the line until 1962, and occasional passenger trains from Liverpool Street ran until 1966. The short length of connecting track between Shoreditch and the ex GER line to Liverpool St was removed in 1966.

For most of its incarnation as part of the London Underground the line was coloured purple on tube maps and shown as part of the Metropolitan line. (After 1990 the line received its own orange colour.) Through services to Hammersmith were withdrawn  in 1941, and the East London Line was depicted on maps as a self contained upside down “Y”. All trains ran from either New Cross or New Cross Gate to Whitechapel with some services continuing to Shoreditch.

The line closed in December 2007 when work started to convert the line to Network Rail standards and extend it as part of the Transport for London’s London Overground system. Trains will initially run from Dalston Junction in the north to New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon in the south. By February 2011, TfL expects to have extended the line to Highbury & Islington. Plans for a second extension from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction are also advanced with certain preparatory civil engineering works completed. The long term vision is to develop the line as London orbital railway.

The East London Railway extension. Map by TfL.

(Click on map to download original as a pdf file from TfL.)

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