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North London Line
File:File:313123 HKC 1.jpg
A Class 313 at Hackney Central
Overview
Type Commuter rail
Suburban rail
Freight rail
System National Rail
Locale Greater London
Termini Richmond
Stratford
Stations 23
Operation
Opened 1869 (fully)
Closed 2006 (Stratford-North Woolwich)
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) London Overground
Depot(s) Willesden TMD
Rolling stock Class 378 "Electrostar", Class 313
Technical
No. of tracks 2-4
Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification 25kV AC OHLE
750 V DC third rail

The North London Line is a railway line which passes through the inner suburbs of London, England. Its route is a rough semicircle from the south west to the north east, avoiding central London. The line is owned and maintained by Network Rail. Although much of it originated as part of the North London Railway, the current route is the result of a series of amalgamations, closures and re-openings; and has a mixed third-rail and overhead electrical power supply. It is an important freight route and is used by the Richmond to Stratford service of the London Overground, as part of the National Rail network.[1]

To allow four-car trains to run on the London Overground network, the North London Line between Gospel Oak and Stratford closed in February 2010, with reopening envisaged for 1 June 2010, for installing a new signalling system and for extending 30 platforms. After the reopening the work will continue until May 2011 with a reduced service and none on Sundays.[2]

Contents

History

Formation

  North London Line
Legend
Aligned dotted routes connect off this map
If display breaks up, clicking hide/show buttons may cure it.
Continuation backward
Waterloo to Reading Line (▲ Reading )
Unknown route-map component "CPICAl" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "CPICAma" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "uCPICAra" + Hub
Richmond London Underground District line
Junction from left
Junction to right + Unknown route-map component "muxABZrg"
Waterway turning to right
Single track link from platform 3
Unknown route-map component "eABZlf"
Unknown route-map component "eABZlg" + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Link lifted.  LO and LU share tracks Richmond to G'bury
Continuation to right Track turning right
Straight track + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Waterloo to Reading Line (◄ Waterloo )
Stop on track + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Kew Gardens London Underground
Transverse water
Bridge over water + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Transverse water
Kew Railway Bridge across River Thames
Continuation to right Stop on transverse track
Unknown route-map component "kKRZo+xl" + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Unknown route-map component "ekABZq+l"
Unknown route-map component "vABZq+rl" + Stop
Continuation to left
(Chiswick - Kew Bridge) Hounslow Loop
Unknown route-map component "ekABZg+l" + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Unknown route-map component "vSTR-eDST"
Link lifted Kew (L&SWJR) 1853-1866
Interchange on track + Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Unknown route-map component "vSTRe"
Gunnersbury London Underground
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr"
Unknown route-map component "eABZrd" + Waterway turning to right
Unknown route-map component "ÜWc2" Unknown route-map component "ÜWor"
District (◄ Turnham Green) Freight/SOC link lifted
Straight track Unknown route-map component "ÜWo+l" Unknown route-map component "ÜWc4"
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Unknown route-map component "mKRZu" Unknown route-map component "mKRZu" Urban transverse track Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
District and Piccadilly lines (◄ Up - Down ►) Separate tracks
Level crossing Level crossing
Bollo Lane
Junction from left
Track turning right + Unused waterway turning from left
Unused transverse waterway Unknown route-map component "ueCONTl"
S. Acton Jn District and freight link lifted
Stop on track + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" + Unknown route-map component "uexCPICre"
South Acton  (LU service to Acton Town 1905-1959)
Unknown route-map component "eABZrg" Unknown route-map component "exSTRrf"
Freight link lifted
Unknown route-map component "exCONTr" Unknown route-map component "eABZrf"
Hammersmith & Chiswick branch (1857 - 1965)
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Acton Central
Level crossing
Churchfield Road
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "kKRZo+l" Unknown route-map component "kABZq+l" Continuation to left
Great Western Main Line (Paddington - Bristol)
Unknown route-map component "kABZg+l" + Hub
+ Hub
HUB = Acton Wells Junction
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Unknown route-map component "mKRZo"
Urban transverse track + Unknown route-map component "HUB26"
Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
Central line
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "KRZo"
Transverse track + Unknown route-map component "HUB26"
Continuation to left
New North Main Line
Junction to left + Hub
Transverse track + Hub
Continuation to left
To WCML and Dudding Hill Line
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "ABZ3lg" Transverse track Unknown route-map component "ABZlfg" Track turning from right
West London Line to Clapham Junction
Straight track Elevated Non-passenger station on track
Old Oak (or South West/ern) sidings
Straight track Track turning from left Unknown route-map component "hKRZ" Track turning right
Track turning from left Unknown route-map component "ABZ3lf" Unknown route-map component "ABZ3rf" Unknown route-map component "hKRZ" Transverse track Continuation to left
WCML (◄ Up - Down ►) The junction is Willesden Junction
Abbreviated in this map Elevated Track turning from left Continuation to left
Watford DC Line (LO) and Bakerloo (LU) share tracks. (Down ►)
Station on elevated + Hub
Station on track + Hub
Willesden Junction HL/LL London Underground
Track turning from left Unknown route-map component "ABZ3rg" Unknown route-map component "hKRZ" Track turning right
(◄ Up) Watford DC Line to Euston, B'loo to El. & Castle
Abbreviated in this map Straight track Junction from left Transverse track Continuation to left
From West Coast Main Line
Track turning left Junction from right
Junction to left Unknown route-map component "ENDEl"
Kensal Green Turnback Siding
Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Kensal Green & Harlesden (1861-1873)
Stop on track
Brondesbury Park
Stop on track
Brondesbury
Continuation to right Transverse track Unknown route-map component "KRZu" Continuation to left
Chiltern Main Line (Marylebone - Birmingham)
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Urban transverse track Unknown route-map component "mKRZu" Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
Metropolitan tracks wrap Jubilee tracks
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr"
Unknown route-map component "uBHFq" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "mKRZu" Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
Jubilee line West Hampstead LU
Hub
Interchange on track + Hub
Hub
West Hampstead NLL London Underground
Track turning from left Unknown route-map component "KRZo"
Transverse track + Unknown route-map component "HUB26"
Continuation to left
MML 3rd crossing (◄ St Pancras - The North ►)
Continuation to right
Transverse track + Abbreviated in this map
Unknown route-map component "KRZo"
Station on transverse track + Hub
Continuation to left
Thameslink  West Hampstead TLK
Stop on track
Finchley Road & Frognal
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr"
Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" + Enter and exit tunnel
Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
Hampstead Heath Tunnel above Northern line to Edgware
Stop on track
Hampstead Heath
Junction to left Transverse track Track turning from right
Freight link
Right side of cross-platform interchange
Unknown route-map component "CPICll" + Transverse terminus from left
Unknown route-map component "ABZ3lf" Continuation to left
Gospel Oak   Gospel Oak to Barking Line
Abbreviated in this map Unknown route-map component "eABZrg" Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
Lifted link to Gospel Oak to Barking Line
Track turning left Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Track turning from right
MML 2nd crossing (▲ The North - St Pancras ▼)
Abbreviated in this map Straight track Abbreviated in this map
▲ Down Watford DC Line
Abbreviated in this map Junction to left Track turning from right Straight track
▲ Down West Coast Main Line
Junction to left Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Junction from right Stop on track
Kentish Town West (1867-1971, re-opened 1981)
Continuation forward Straight track Straight track Straight track
Up West Coast Main Line to Euston
Continuation forward Unknown route-map component "eHST" Straight track
▼ Up Watford DC Line to Euston,  Primrose Hill (1855-1992)
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr" Unknown route-map component "utSTRq"
Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" + Track turning left
Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" + Junction from right
Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
Northern line to Barnet
Stop on track
Camden Road  4-track after here to §§ except 2/3 at ##
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "ABZ3rg" Unknown route-map component "ABZ3rg" Junction to right Abbreviated in this map
St Pancras
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Track turning right
MML 1st crossing (◄ St Pancras - The North ▲)
Continuation to right Junction from right Straight track Straight track
High Speed 1 (◄ St Pancras - Channel Tunnel ▼)
Elevated start Straight track Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Maiden Lane (NLR) (1887-1917)
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "hKRZ" Unknown route-map component "ABZ3lf" Unknown route-map component "KRZo" Continuation to left
East Coast Main Line (King's Cross - Edinburgh)
Unknown route-map component "TUNNELa-ELEV" Straight track
 Noise abating covered bridge leads into tunnel
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr" Unknown route-map component "mtKRZt" Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" Unknown route-map component "mKRZt" Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
Piccadilly line
Unknown route-map component "tSTRlf" Unknown route-map component "tSTRlg" Straight track
From here to near Homerton HS1 tunnel runs beneath NLL
Unknown route-map component "tCONTf" Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury first site (1852-1870)
Stop on track
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury
Unknown route-map component "exSTRrg" Unknown route-map component "eABZrf"
Dual voltage transfer link. ## = 2/3 track. LH track is ELL
Unknown route-map component "exCPICl" + Hub
Left side of cross-platform interchange + Hub
+ Hub
Highbury & Islington London Underground
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr" Unknown route-map component "xmKRZt" Unknown route-map component "mKRZt"
Unknown route-map component "utBHFq" + Unknown route-map component "HUB26"
Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
Victoria line
Unknown route-map component "CHRISBOT" Unknown route-map component "xKRZt" Unknown route-map component "KRZt"
Unknown route-map component "tBHFq" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "CHRISBOT2"
Northern City Line (Moorgate - Finsbury Park)
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Junction from left Transverse track Continuation to left
NLL-ECML chord
Unknown route-map component "exCPICl" Left side of cross-platform interchange
Canonbury
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Canonbury first site (1858-1870)
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Mildmay Park (1880-1934)
Unknown route-map component "exABZrg" Unknown route-map component "eABZrf"
To ELL from 2010.  §§ End of 4-track
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Stop on track
Dalston Kingsland (1850-1865, re-opened 1983)
Unknown route-map component "exCONTr" Unknown route-map component "exBHFq" Unknown route-map component "exABZgf" Enter and exit tunnel
Dalston Junction (1865-1986) on NLR City Extn to Broad Street
Unknown route-map component "exSTRlf" Unknown route-map component "eABZlg"
Link lifted
Unknown route-map component "kABZgr"
Graham Road curve
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "kABZqr" Unknown route-map component "kKRZur" Transverse track Continuation to left
Liverpool Street WAML and Lea Valley Lines
Stop on track
Hackney Central   (1850-1944, re-opened 1980)
Unknown route-map component "tCONTg" Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Homerton   (1868-1944, re-opened 1985)
Unknown route-map component "tSTRlf"
Straight track + Unknown route-map component "tSTRq"
Unknown route-map component "CHRISBOT2"
HS1 (▲ St Pancras International - Channel Tunnel ►)
Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Victoria Park (1856-1943). Track rebuilt in 1960s
Unknown route-map component "exCONTr" Unknown route-map component "eABZrf"
Lifted link to Old Ford on former L&BR
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Hackney Wick
Transverse water Bridge over water Transverse water
River Lee (or Lea)
Unknown route-map component "ABZld" Transverse track Continuation to left
Link to Lea Valley Lines
Track turning from left Transverse track Junction to right
Straight track Track turning from left Unknown route-map component "xABZgr+xl" Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
DLR under construction to Stratford International
Straight track
Straight track + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELa" + Hub
+ Hub
HUB = Stratford also suffixed "Regional" or "(London)"
Straight track
Track turning left + Hub
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Unknown route-map component "HACCl"
+ Hub
 (HL)  LO from Richmond
Continuation to right
Unknown route-map component "eABZ3lg" + Unknown route-map component "ABZqlr"
Transverse track + Hub
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Unknown route-map component "HACC"
Transverse track + Hub
Unknown route-map component "eABZ3rg" Continuation to left
 (HL)  Great Eastern Main Line
Unknown route-map component "utCONTr"
Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" + Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Unknown route-map component "uTUNNELru" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Unknown route-map component "uHACC"
Unknown route-map component "uTUNNELlu" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "utSTRq" + Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Unknown route-map component "utCONTl"
 (HL)  Central line
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr"
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" + Urban transverse track
Unknown route-map component "uHACCl" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELe" Hub Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
 (HL)  DLR from Poplar
Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Unknown route-map component "uCPICAla" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exCPICr" + Hub
Hub Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
 (LL)  Jubilee Line  (NLL service 1855-2008)
Unknown route-map component "exSTRlf"
Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" + Urban straight track
Unknown route-map component "exABZdg" Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" Unknown route-map component "exSTRrf"
Links to GEML lifted
Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exHST"
Stratford Market (1847-1957)
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Urban transverse track Unknown route-map component "uKRZu" Unknown route-map component "xmKRZu"
Unknown route-map component "uHACC" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
District and H&C lines, shared tracks
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "eABZ3lg" Waterway under railway bridge Unknown route-map component "xKRZu"
Unknown route-map component "HACC" + Unknown route-map component "HUB26"
Continuation to left
London, Tilbury and Southend Line
Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Unknown route-map component "uCPICAl" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exCPICr" + Hub
Hub
West Ham, (NLL service 1979-2006)
Unknown route-map component "exSTRlf"
Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" + Urban straight track
Unknown route-map component "exABZlg"
Link lifted
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Urban track turning from right Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
DLR from East India
Unknown route-map component "uCPICAl" Unknown route-map component "uCPICAm" Unknown route-map component "exCPICr"
Canning Town (NLL service 1855- 2006)
Unknown route-map component "uCONTr" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Waterway turning to right
Unused waterway with junction to left + Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Unused waterway turning from right
Jubilee line towards North Greenwich
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uABZ3lg" Unknown route-map component "xmKRZu" Unknown route-map component "uxABZlg"
From Tidal Basin to past Pontoon Dock DLR route to
Unknown route-map component "ueABZrg"
Waterway with unused branch to right + Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Urban straight track
Woolwich Arsenal is elevated on line of Silvertown Tramway
Unknown route-map component "exSTRrg" + Urban straight track
Unknown route-map component "exHST" + Unknown route-map component "exABZrf"
Urban straight track
Tidal Basin (1858-1943). Line at left was Silvertown Tramway
Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Unknown route-map component "uACC"
Royal Victoria
Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exCPICl" Unknown route-map component "uCPICAr"
Custom House. (NLL service 1855-2006)
Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exABZlf"
Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" + Waterway turning to left
Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
DLR to Beckton
Unknown route-map component "uACC" Unknown route-map component "exABZlf" Unknown route-map component "exSTRq" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
West Silvertown  To Gallions
Unknown route-map component "uACC" Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Pontoon Dock
Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELa"
Connaught Tunnel
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" + Waterway turning to left
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Urban transverse track
Urban transverse track Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
DLR to Woolwich Arsenal
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELe"
Line at left (Silvertown Tramway) was first EC&TJR route
Unknown route-map component "exSTRlf"
Unknown route-map component "exHST" + Unknown route-map component "exABZlg"
Silvertown & London City Airport (1863-2006)
Unknown route-map component "exKBHFe"
North Woolwich (1847-2006)
Pier
Woolwich Free Ferry

The North London Line between Richmond and North Woolwich derives from five connecting sections which were opened over 25 years from 1846:

  • The easternmost section opened as the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway in 1846/7 between Stratford and North Woolwich. The later construction of the Royal Victoria Dock necessitated a swing-bridge on the original route south of Canning Town which was rerouted in 1850 via Custom House and the Connaught Tunnel. The original route was retained as the Silvertown Tramway, a local freight line connected at both ends to the new main line.
  • The main central section opened from 1850 to 1852 as the East & West India Docks & Birmingham Junction Railway (renamed the North London Railway (NLR) in 1853). This gave a link from the Euston main line near Primrose Hill to the docks at Poplar via Bow.
  • The last link in the east was opened between the NLR near Victoria Park and Stratford in 1854.
  • To obviate NLR trains running on the busy Euston main line, the Hampstead Junction Railway was opened from the NLR at Camden Road to Willesden via Hampstead Heath in 1860.
  • The final part of the route was the opening of a link from South Acton to Richmond by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1869.

Developments

The line between Broad Street and both Kew Bridge and Richmond was electrified by the LNWR in 1916 on the 4th rail DC system.

In 1944 passenger service on the NLR Poplar branch ceased. Freight traffic probably continued on the branch until the docks on the Isle of Dogs closed during the 1960s and 1980s. The trackbed of the southern part of the branch, from Poplar to Bow, was used for the Docklands Light Railway branch to Stratford.

In 1979 the North Woolwich to Stratford service was extended to Camden Road as the CrossTown LinkLine service using the same Cravens-built diesel multiple unit trains. There were no intermediate stations until in 1980 Hackney Wick, near the site of the former Victoria Park station, opened and Hackney Central re-opened, Homerton re-opened in 1985 (both those stations had closed in 1944. New platforms were built at West Ham for interchange with the adjacent Underground station.

In the 1980s Broad Street station closed and the Tottenham Hale–Stratford link and the station at Lea Bridge ceased to be used by regular passenger trains. The line between Dalston and North Woolwich was electrified on the third-rail system and Broad Street services were diverted to North Woolwich using former Southern Region 2-EPB types built in the 1950s. The two-coach trains soon proved too small and were replaced by Class 313 electric multiple units. The new service was branded by British Rail as the North London Link, and some signs using this name still exist.

In December 2006, the line between Stratford and North Woolwich was permanently closed to make a way for a future Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension from Canning Town to Stratford International (Opening December 13, 2009). The section south of Canning Town is largely duplicated by the DLR King George V branch and the stretch of track from Canning Town to Stratford follows the Jubilee Line. The section south of Stratford had always been the Cinderella end of the line, when there were operating problems it was common for trains to be turned short at Stratford.

The whole of the remaining Silverlink Metro became part of Transport for London's (TfL) London Overground in 2007.

Former services

In addition to the primary Broad Street - Richmond service there were services that linked Broad Street with Harrow & Wealdstone and Watford Junction on the West Coast Main Line. Most of these were routed via the line between South Hampstead and Camden Road, calling at Primrose Hill, although some travelled via Hampstead Heath and switched to the Watford line at Willesden Junction. By the time that Broad Street closed in 1986 the Watford services operated only in the rush hours, and they were diverted to Liverpool Street by way of a new link in Hackney, known as the Graham Road Curve. However, with trains frequently cancelled, and some timed to arrive at Liverpool Street station after the start of the working day (plus the evening workings also being timed to not be suitable for office workers), patronage was very low and after a few years they were withdrawn.

In 2000 Anglia Railways started a service between Basingstoke and Ipswich, utilising parts of the North London Line. The service was called London Crosslink and ran up to five times a day at roughly two-hourly intervals. The service called only at principal stations such as Staines, Feltham and Brentford. On the North London Line the trains called only at Stratford, Highbury & Islington, Camden Road (some services), West Hampstead and Willesden Junction. The service was withdrawn in 2002.

The AC electrification of the eastern part of the North London Line uses the previously unelectrified northern pair of tracks, which were also partially singled at the same time. Between Canonbury and Highbury & Islington there is a line which links to the East Coast Main Line at Finsbury Park. This used to carry passenger trains to / from various North London stations (such as Edgware, Alexandra Palace, High Barnet, Welwyn Garden City and others) over part of the North London Line to Broad Street Station, however since the opening of the Great Northern Electrics suburban electrification which in the 1970s saw trains being diverted into Moorgate and London King's Cross stations; this link has only been used for freight trains. It too was singled concurrent with the AC electrification of the eastern part of the North London Line.

Route

Geographical map of the North London Line

Track

Most of the line runs in a curve across north London. Only Richmond and Kew Gardens stations at the western end are south of the River Thames. The river crossing is made by Kew Railway Bridge on tracks which are shared with the London Underground District Line. The location of the eastern extremity has varied over the years. Between 1944 and 1986 it was at Broad Street station, then it switched to North Woolwich. It was cut back to Stratford. A tunnel, the Hampstead Heath tunnel, runs under Hampstead between Finchley Road & Frognal and Hampstead Heath. The line is double track throughout with a mix of triple and quadruple track between Camden Road and Dalston Kingsland. The former North Woolwich branch included a section of single track between Custom House and North Woolwich stations, and the Broad Street branch was at one time formed of quadruple track.

Electric supply

The line is electrified using the third rail system from Richmond to Acton Central and Camden Road to Dalston Kingsland (southern pair of lines only). Overhead lines are used from Acton Central to Camden Road, Camden Road to Dalston Kingsland (freight lines only) and Dalston Kingsland to Channelsea Junctions (link to Temple Mills, Stratford High Level and Liverpool Street). The line to Broad Street used third rail supply and when the through service to North Woolwich started in 1985 trains used the third rail throughout. When the trains were replaced a few years later by dual-system Class 313 trains it became possible to use the overhead electrification system which had been added to parts of the line for the benefit of freight trains. There had been some unexpected difficulties with earth currents from the third rail system which this overcame. This usage was steadily extended and trains now make a number of changes between electrification systems during their short journey. These are at Dalston Kingsland, Camden Road and Acton Central.

The line is now electrified thus: Third rail Richmond to Acton Central, and Camden Road to Dalston Kingsland. It is electrified at overhead 25kV between Acton Central and Camden Road, and Dalston Kingsland to Stratford. This will change during 2010 when the only section of line to remain on the third-rail system will be Richmond to Acton Central; the rest of the line between Acton Central and Stratford will use 25kV overhead.

Connections

The line crosses or comes into contact with a very large number of railway lines, especially lines radiating from central London. This does provide opportunities to move between separate sectors of suburban London without having to enter the central zone.

Interchanges shown on the tube map

Other interchanges

former interchanges

  • at North Woolwich passengers could cross the Thames via the Woolwich foot tunnel or the free ferry to Woolwich Arsenal station for connections on the North Kent line to Medway Towns, Gravesend, Dartford, Sidcup, Abbey Wood, Blackheath, Lewisham, Greenwich and Central London

Current operations

Rolling stock

Old and new: a Class 313 and its replacement, a Class 378 Capitalstar at Richmond

London Overground uses Class 378 Capitalstar three-car dual-voltage electric trains, compatible with both 750V DC third-rail and 25kV AC overhead power sources. The trains will be extended to four cars in 2010–11.[3] The Class 378 Capitalstars replace the Class 313 trains, which were withdrawn from the route in February 2010.

Service levels

Despite published performance figures[4] the North London Line is regarded by frequent travellers as offering a poor service,[5] with extremely congested trains and an unreliable service[6] with some trains cancelled shortly before they are due to arrive. A 2006 London Assembly report described the current service as "shabby, unreliable, unsafe and overcrowded", proposing the transfer of the service to Transport for London (TfL) as a potential solution to improve the quality of the service [7] due to upgrade plans [8] which coincide with the extension of the East London line.

A report on the future of the line can be found on the London Assembly website[9].

Current development

Map of the projected London Overground network, with the NLL connected to other lines

East London Line extension

By February 2011, the extended East London Line will connect to the NLL with ELL services joining the line west of Dalston Kingsland, running to Highbury & Islington.[10]

Increased train frequency

By 2011, according to TfL, all lines will be provided with a 'turn up and go' service, which means a minimum of 4 trains per hour in both directions.[11]

Planned service patterns[12] are:

  • 4 tph Stratford - Camden Road - Gospel Oak - Willesden Junction - Richmond (as current service)
  • 2 tph Stratford - Camden Road - Gospel Oak - Willesden Junction - Clapham Junction
  • 2 tph Stratford - Camden Road

Proposed developments

Crossrail (Abbey Wood branch)

The route between Custom House and North Woolwich is proposed to be used by the Crossrail project as part of the Abbey Wood branch. There were plans for this section to be used temporarily by the Royal Docks Heritage Railway but the present status of this project is unclear.

Maiden Lane station

Maiden Lane station may be reopened by Camden Council[13] however the Office of Rail Regulation has not included this in the current plans[14].

Possible Crossrail extension to Houslow

Closed stations

Silverlink Metro 313117 at North Woolwich on 9 December 2006, the final day of service at that station

Closed stations apart from those on the closed sections of the line are:

City Extension

On 1 November 1865 the NLR opened its City Extension mostly on a viaduct from a triangular junction at Dalston to Broad Street in the City with these stations:

The extension closed on 30 June 1986, but although the track was lifted the viaduct remains in place and is partially used for the East London Line development.

The extended East London Line will be operated by London Overground, the operators of passenger services on the North London Line, with services eventually running as far as Highbury & Islington in the north for interchange with the Victoria line.

North Woolwich section

On 10 December 2006 the line between Stratford and North Woolwich was closed to allow building between Stratford and Canning Town of a Docklands Light Railway line to Stratford International. Part of the south end of closed section is to be used for Crossrail.[16]

NLL stations closed were:

DLR and Jubilee line services are not affected at the first three of those stations.

The DLR line to Stratford International will use the former NLL low level platforms at Stratford. NLL trains now terminate at new platforms on the north side of the high level station.

Trivia

References

  1. ^ "Route 6 - North London Line and Thameside : 2009 Route Plan". Network Rail. 2009. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/StrategicBusinessPlan/RoutePlans/2009/Route%206%20-%20North%20London%20Line%20and%20Thameside.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  2. ^ "London Overground to close from Gospel Oak to Stratford as part of £326m upgrade to deliver longer, more frequent trains". TfL. 18 December 2009. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/media/newscentre/archive/13867.aspx. Retrieved 06 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Transport for London - £36m contract to bring extra rail carriages for London Overground
  4. ^ "Silverlink rises to second position in the national performance league". 2006-09-18. http://www.atoc-comms.org/dynamic/toc-press-story/999831/Silverlink-rises-to-second-position-in-the-national-performance-league. Retrieved 2007-10-26.  Association of Train Operating Companies [1] Press Releases
  5. ^ Sharp, Rachel (2007-10-24). [http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.1782035.0.tfl_to_take_on_rail_network.php " TfL to take on rail network"]. Ealing Times. http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.1782035.0.tfl_to_take_on_rail_network.php. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  6. ^ [http://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/content/hackney/gazette/news/story.aspx?brand=HKYGOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newshkyg&itemid=WeED25%20Oct%202007%2011%3A49%3A35%3A157 " Braced for rail strikes"]. Hackney Gazette. 2007-10-26. http://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/content/hackney/gazette/news/story.aspx?brand=HKYGOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newshkyg&itemid=WeED25%20Oct%202007%2011%3A49%3A35%3A157. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  7. ^ London Assembly - Light at end of the tunnel for London's forgotten railway
  8. ^ Always Touch Out - London Overground & Orbirail
  9. ^ London Assembly - London's forgotten railway (PDF)
  10. ^ Transport for London - East London Railway project
  11. ^ Next steps | Transport for London
  12. ^ Sections 17/18 : Current applications : Track access : Access consultations : Consultations : Office of Rail Regulation
  13. ^ King's Cross Development plan (PDF)
  14. ^ Sections 17/18 - Section 17 and 18 - new track access contracts : Office of Rail Regulation
  15. ^ A4
  16. ^ Transport for London - Stratford International Extension

Bibliography

  • HP White. 1971. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Volume 3 - Greater London. ISBN 0-7153-5337-3

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