ELL service extended

Highbury and IslingtonThe final part of Phase One of the ELL upgrade opened today, three months ahead of schedule.  The 2.1km link between Highbury and Islington station (on London Overground’s Richmond to Stratford Line) and Dalston Junction (on London Overground’s East London Line) will mean passengers from Forest Hill can now use the fast London Overground services to reach the north, east or south of the capital and can change at Highbury and Islington for Victoria Line Tube services or National Rail services from Moorgate. Passenegrs wishing to travel to Stanstead can now catch the Overground to Highbury & Islington and then the Victoria Line to Tottenham Hale for the Stansted Express.

Four trains an hour will run in each direction between Highbury & Islington and either Crystal Palace or West Croydon, giving us eight trains an hour in each direction.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “We are piecing together a rail version of the M25 in the capital, an orbital rail link that is making it vastly easier for millions of Londoners to whizz from one side of the city to another. This relatively short stretch of track will link three sides of the city and mean people can scoot around the edges of the capital on fast, reliable rail connections without needing to head into central London.”  However, passengers travelling north of Whitechapel will be charged a Zone 1 fare due to a deal between TfL and the DfT in April 2009 when funding was agreed for Phase Two (the extension from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction, due to open in December 2012) and Shoreditch High Street was moved into Zone 1.

The recently-opened East London route already carries in excess of 70,000 passengers a day.  This is expected to rise to over 90,000 with the new link.

Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Rail, said “With its fast and frequent service on a new fleet of air-conditioned, high capacity trains and refurbished stations, London Overground’s network is setting the standard for the future of urban rail travel.  For the second month in a row London Overground has topped the nation’s rail league tables for punctuality with 96.4 per cent of it trains arriving on time in January.”

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