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Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line closures to run into 2018 thanks to Network Rail gaffe

PUBLISHED: 09:31 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 01 November 2017

An overground train pulls into Barking Station

An overground train pulls into Barking Station

Archant

Commuters who travel on the Barking to Gospel Oak Overground line have had a relatively relaxing journey to work for the last week or so since it reopened.

But from November 18 they will be forced back into the already congested Tube system or onto London’s buses due to another two-month closure.

The reason for the latest disturbance is to finally finish electrification works on the line. The works were also the reason it was closed between September 17 and October 22 and the same reason it was shut from June last year until the end of February.

During the eight-month closure, an engineering design gaffe by Network Rail meant the structures that carry overhead wires necessary to upgrade the 14-mile line were “incorrectly designed” and could not be installed. Materials were also delivered late, which amplified the delay.

TfL, which put up the cash for the works, said it was “extremely disappointed” and would be “seeking compensation” at the time.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of London rail, added Network Rail did not inform TfL of the “significant problems” until very late in the work schedule.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that some electric freight services are expected to be able to start running by Spring 2018, with new four-carriage electric trains following on within a month or two.

For the next installment, replacement buses will run as usual between Barking and Walthamstow Central, and between Seven Sisters and Gospel Oak, with passengers encouraged to take the Victoria line to connect between the two bus routes.

Regular users of the line who have to take trains or the Tube instead will be automatically refunded the extra cost of passing through zone 1.

The Gazette has asked Network Rail whether the Crouch Hill bridge will be raised during the closure. It was announced it would have to be raised to allow the electric wires to pass under it but no date has been given for the work.

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