Gospel Oak-Barking line set for summer closures and further disruption after delays on £130m upgrade

Rebecca Smith
The Gospel Oak and Barking line reopened in February but work isn't finished on the upgrade
The Gospel Oak and Barking line reopened in February but work isn't finished on the upgrade (Source: Roger Marks / Flickr)

The Gospel Oak to Barking line is set for another eight weekends of closures, after delays to electrification due to incorrect design and late delivery of materials.

Network Rail has said the equipment used will mean "some disturbance is unavoidable" for locals, but that it will make "every effort" to minimise any unnecessary noise.

Additionally, these eight weeks won't be the end of the closures either, as a full schedule is still being drawn up.

Read more: £130m Gospel Oak to Barking upgrade goes off track as delays build

Work began on the £130m upgrade in June 2016. While Transport for London (TfL) had originally planned for electrification of the line to finish by the end of next month, it was announced in February that the work had not been finished on time and more needed to be done.

Network Rail said at the time it was pulling together "a robust plan" to complete the work before new trains arrive early next year, which would mean further closures required over a series of weekends and likely involve a full closure for a period later in the year.

It had initially intended to confirm future closures by end of April, but this was delayed. Now the next set of closures for electrification work to continue have been announced.

Summer closures:

Closures passenger services

Working hours

Sunday 4 June

01:00 Sunday 4 June – 04:00 Monday 5 June

Sunday 11 June

01:00 Sunday 11 June – 04:00 Monday 12 June

Sunday 18 June

01:00 Sunday 18 June – 04:00 Monday 19 June

Sunday 25 June

01:00 Sunday 25 June – 04:00 Monday 26 June

Sunday 2 July

01:00 Sunday 2 July – 04:00 Monday 3 July

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July

01:00 Saturday 8 July – 04:00 Monday 10 July

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July

01:00 Saturday 15 July – 04:00 Monday 17 July

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July

01:00 Saturday 22 July – 04:00 Monday 24 July

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly and leader of its transport committee, said:

Passengers were promised a year ago that the upgrade work would be finally completed by the end of June 2017.

Even with this latest news Network Rail are still not providing details about the expected full closure of the line that will be necessary to complete the electrification work.

Both residents living close to the line and passengers have already suffered enough. It is time Network Rail came clean and gave people advanced notice of the full schedule of works necessary to complete this vital electrification project.

The route undergoing an upgrade:

(Source: Network Rail)

Read more: Gospel Oak to Barking electrification to miss deadline as delays pile up

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