Reopening of the North London Line


With the East London Line up and running, here’s an update on the reopening of the North London Line from the Barking-Gospel Oak Line User Group…

The running lines were handed back at about 18:00 hours on Monday and a London Overground train (313 123) ran to Stratford around 19:00, returning about an hour later.

Work is still taking place on the stations; we understand a letter from TfL London Rail MD Ian Brown was circulated to all contractors in the past week reminding them that work had to be completed on time. The local LOROL Group Station Manager was at Canonbury watching work and admitted that the platforms at Canonbury, Caledonian Road & Barnsbury left a lot to be desired, but expected the NLL platforms all three stations to be handed back on Monday night.
  • Caledonian Road & Barnsbury. Work here is winding down, with surfaces mostly finished, two shelters provided (but one in a really odd location, not where passengers would wait for a westbound train). Lighting is provided but no public address or departure indicators and no help points.
  • Highbury & Islington. Still plenty of contractors’ staff on site, mainly finishing the concourse extension, platform staircases and emergency exit, although platforms are largely finished with surfaces, canopies, lighting, public address, departure indicators and help points all complete.
  • Canonbury. Still plenty of workers on site finishing the new staircases and the new landings to attach them to the part old, part new footbridge. Platform surfaces are largely finished along with lighting, but no public address, departure indicators or help points, and two poorly sited platform shelters.
  • Dalston Kingsland. The station able to accommodate 3-car trains but new platform extensions for 4-car trains are not finished.
BGOLUG believes that by drawing the attention of the railway press and London Assembly members to the slow progress of the works, TfL London Rail and Nework Rail have been galvanised into ensuring that the railway was able open (just) as planned.

However, compared to the facilities unveiled last month on the East London Line, North London Line passengers will find a far lower standard of facilities at their stations.

Finally, LOROL should have taken delivery this weekend of a hired London Midland Class 150 to compensate for a shortage of units to maintain the new Barking-Gospel Oak Line timetable. All six LOROL units are required for the new peak service, leaving no spare cover, and as LOROL have always kept two units spare they are still one short. Around ten LOROL drivers have learnt Chiltern Class 165s but Network Rail have failed to gauge clear the Barking-Gospel Oak Line for them to be used.

Five pictures of Caledonian Road…

Five pictures of Highbury & Islington…

And five pictures of Canonbury…

Thanks to the Barking-Gospel Oak Line User Group (BGOLUG) for this update on the North London Line, and to Dazz for the photos of the work in progress.
Written by Totteridge