London

Closures as completion of north-London rail line work delayed

Route map of barking to Gospel Oak line Image copyright Network Rail

A London rail route faces more closures after Network Rail admitted it failed to complete work on the line on time.

Commuters who use the north London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking face months of further potential disruption as a result.

The route has been shut since September and is due to reopen on 27 February.

However, Network Rail has said the track will need to close on some weekends so it can finish installing electric cables.

'Extremely disappointed'

The route also faces another complete shutdown later this year but Network Rail has yet to confirm when this will happen.

Before the engineering work began the line carried 31,477 passengers on weekdays.

Transport for London (TfL) said it was "extremely disappointed" and would be "seeking compensation" from Network Rail.

Jonathan Fox, TfL's director of London Rail, claimed it was not made aware of the problems "until very recently".

He said TfL was pressing Network Rail for an urgent plan detailing how the project would be delivered.

'Incorrectly designed'

Network Rail began work to modernise the old Victorian railway line in June 2016.

It said "a number of the structures" which carry the overhead lines were "incorrectly designed and couldn't be installed at the planned locations" along the 14-mile route.

The line will carry new electric trains from early 2018. The trains will be able to hold twice as many passengers as the current two-carriage diesel trains.

Network Rail has said those living along the route will also benefit from cleaner air quality as a result of reduced CO2 emissions.

It said a full review into what went wrong had already begun.

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