Improved Rail Service Brings the Olympics Closer

Regular weekend engineering works come to an end

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After over two years of disruption a new service is set to operate on local Overground lines which will provide a regular air-conditioned link with the main venues for the Olympic gains.

The regular weekend engineering works on the line are set to end and will bring stations such as Gunnersbury, South Acton, Acton Central and Shepherd's Bush within 45-55 minutes of Stratford station.

The upgrade, funded by TfL, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Stratford City Implementation Group, means that London Overground services from Richmond and Clapham Junction to Stratford will run four times an hour every day, increasing the total number between Willesden Junction and Stratford to eight trains per hour in the peak.

As part of the upgrade Transport for London also funded a brand new air-conditioned trains, and a station refurbishment programme and stations with better access, new information, help points, lighting and CCTV. The new timetable is the result of the first major revamp of the line since 1869. Network Rail upgraded and replaced more than 200 signals, renewed more than seven kilometres of track and 69 sets of points, lengthened 30 station platforms and carried out additional improvements at seven other stations.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: 'Three years ago London Overground was rundown, neglected and an embarrassment to the capital. Three years later we have transformed it into one of the nation's top performing railways, running double the number of trains, and it has been named the most punctual service in the country.'

When the South London extension is completed in 2012, London Overground will be a complete orbital network around the city.

Hugh Sumner, Director of Transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: 'Spectators using the London Overground to get to and from sporting events across the capital will benefit from a service which will not only be more frequent, but also more spacious, comfortable and punctual. In addition to improvements made on the East London Line, upgrades to the North London Line will also play a key role during the Games in bypassing central London to get spectators to the Olympic Park. This investment is helping create a transport legacy long before the Games have even started.'

The Sunday service from Richmond to Willesden Junction has increased from 2 trains per hour in May 2007 (before TfL took over the network) to 4 trains per hour (until 10pm, then it goes to 2 between 10pm and 11pm). Monday to Saturday there are 4 trains per hour from Richmond to Willesden Junction as before. The service now operates at that frequency until 10pm and goes to 2 trains per hour after 10pm. The service used to go down to 3 trains per hour after 7pm (Monday to Saturday in 2007).

London Overground has just been named as the UK's most punctual railway in a Network Rail survey. It ran 96.7per cent of its trains on time during March and 96.3 per cent in April, placing it second and first respectively in Network Rail's national monthly performance survey. With almost 19 out of 20 (94.9%) trains arriving on time over the last twelve months - it has the highest annual figure for any train operator in the country.

May 24, 2011