Boris opens �50m Highbury and Islington rail link

BORIS Johnson took a trip down memory lane as he opened a new �50 million railway link between Islington and East London on Monday.

The Mayor of London, who used live in Furlong Road, Holloway, joined the first passenger train on the new Overground line between Highbury and Islington Station and Dalston Junction.

And he revealed how he used to make a similar journey when working as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph around 15 years ago.

He said: “I used to take this train everyday all the way to Stratford and then take a Tube down to Canary Wharf. Now thanks to this upgrade we can whizz all the way to Canada Water. This is a fantastic boost to conductivity. This is like the M25 of Overground railway.”

The new 2.1km link allows Islington commuters to travel quicker to the East End, the city and south London with eight trains every hour.

It connects to the East London Line which starts at Dalston Junction, Hackney, and it then heads towards Hoxton, Shoreditch High Street, then south of the River Thames to New Cross and then Croydon.

Transport for London (TfL) completed the new section of track three months ahead of schedule.

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Mike Brown, London Rail managing director, said: “The alternatives to avoid going into central London are really phenomenal with this new link.”

Mr Johnson said: “This relatively short stretch of track will join three sides of the city and mean people can scoot around the edges of the capital on fast, reliable rail connections without needing to head into central London.

“Our engineers have performed marvels to complete their work three months early and it will provide a crucial connection for people heading to the Olympic Park next year.”

The East London Line is expected to see 33 million travellers this year and will be served by 20 air-conditioned and walk-through Electrostar trains.

TfL has invested �1billion in the upgrade to the East London Line which is the biggest transport infrastructure project in London since the opening of the Jubilee Line extension in 1999.

It has taken two-and-a-half years to complete.