Transport for London (TfL) has today placed an order for 57 new rail carriages to increase the passenger capacity on the London Overground railway by 25 per cent.
We are looking forward to introducing the longer trains from the end of 2014, starting on the East London Line.
The £88m order placed with Bombardier Trains in Derby will enable existing Class 378 electric trains to be increased from four to five carriages on all of the network's increasingly popular lines except the Gospel Oak to Barking route where trains remain diesel powered.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'London Overground has been a truly dazzling success and more and more Londoners are now using the vastly improved service.
'Not only will these new carriages help us meet passenger demand, but they will also support jobs and growth at their birthplace in Derby.'
Acting Director for TfL London Rail, Jonathan Fox, said: 'With this order, the London Overground Capacity Improvement Programme is firmly underway to meet the demands of increasing numbers travelling on our network.
'We are looking forward to introducing the longer trains from the end of 2014, starting on the East London Line.
'In 2012/13, the network carried nearly 125 million passengers - nearly four times the number carried when we launched in 2007. To enable this trend to continue and maintain our high levels for safe, reliable and frequent travel, we need to deliver more capacity by adding more carriages.'
The £320m capacity improvement programme also includes the construction of longer station platforms and other infrastructure upgrades. They are:
- Additional capacity for stabling trains overnight at a new facility in Silwood, south-east London, and also in the north-west London area
- Reconfiguration of the New Cross Gate and Willesden depots
- Platform extensions at some stations on the North and East London lines and associated signalling and power works
The increased capacity is vital, London's population is expected to reach nine million by 2018, and the additional carriages will help London's transport network accommodate the new residents expected to move to the Capital.
Notes to editors:
- The order has been placed under an option in the original agreement for the supply of the London Overground train fleet
- The first five-carriage train will be introduced on the East London Line by December 2014. Each new carriage has the capacity to carry approximately 150 passengers
- Enabling works for the infrastructure improvements commenced in April 2013 at Silwood Triangle. No decision on the provision of extra capacity on the Gospel Oak to Barking line has been made as we are awaiting a decision on the electrification of the line; that will affect the provision of future rolling stock
- Since TfL took over the former Silverlink Metro franchise in November 2007, demand on the 'original' network has grown by 160 per cent in just over five years (up to Spring 2013). Passenger numbers have more than doubled from 2.57 million per four weekly period to 6.65 million. When the East London Line is included the demand has increased by 320% (i.e. more than quadrupling from 2.57 million to 10.77 million per four weekly period). Nearly 125 million passengers were carried in the last financial year (2012/13). The Clapham extension is forecast to add upwards of 12 million (circa) passengers per year.