OVER HALF of the overhead wires had been installed on the Gospel Oak to Barking line as part of the line’s electrification, Network Rail said in mid-October.
The company has also confirmed plans for the final blockade of the line to complete the delayed electrification work. NR said that, following a closure which finished on 23 October, 90% of the line between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham was wired. The line was due to close again from 18 November until 14 January to allow the wiring to be completed, concentrating on the section between South Tottenham and Barking; this closure is a week longer than NR had previously suggested.
The electrification of the 14-mile route was originally due to be completed in June following an eight-month possession of the line, but incorrect designs to structures and late delivery of materials meant the work was not completed as planned. When the closure finishes in mid-January the current Class 172 DMUs will be reintroduced on passenger services while testing of the new infrastructure and the new Bombardier Class 710 EMUs takes place. Introduction of the new electric trains is planned for the spring.