Gone in 30 seconds: First East London Line train journeys from New Cross Gate to Dalston [Updated]

BBC London has footage of the first test voyage of a train on the new East London Line, travelling from New Cross Gate to Dalston on Monday.

The high-speed video shows the journey in 32 seconds. One of the criticisms occasionally levelled at the new line is that it relies too heavily on old infrastructure (as if reusing existing facilities to keep costs down and avoid carving up new parts of the city was a bad thing), but this video shows just how much construction work has been involved.

The BBC reports that the train travelled at 10mph and that "there will now be a few months of track testing at increased speeds until the line, running between Dalston Junction and West Croydon, opens to the public in the spring of 2010 [slightly earlier than originally expected]."

UPDATE: Leading travel blog London Reconnections has more details and a few shots of the train in action.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

10mph? Hold onto your hats. Either Nick's made a typo or the new trains are going to be powered by "sustainable" materials...

Brockley Nick said...

I guess they think it's sensible not to run the train at full pelt on its very first journey on new track. Obviously Clarkson would floor it, with hilarious consequences.

Brockley Jon said...

...Then he'd probably spray paint on some swear words, bolt on some ridiculous extras, and eventually set the poor thing on fire.

Anyway, finished early - can you believe it!

Anonymous said...

Doesnt look like Dalston to New Cross on the video.

Anonymous said...

Doesnt look like Dalston to New Cross on the video.

dude said...

That might be because it is New Cross to Dalston.

I find reading the article before commenting often helps.

Matt-Z said...

Regarding the opening date, full service is apparently being talked about for May 23rd. However there are now rumours that a partial service may begin on the former ELL core section (New Cross to Whitechapel) earlier than May, to aid with driver familiarity, keep the new rolling stock in action, ease the transition into full service, and of course be a bit of good PR fluff for Boris.

Matt-Z said...

@ Dude ... it's not New Cross to Dalston either. It looks like Shoreditch to Dalston over the old Broad Street lines / Kingsland viaduct

Lou Baker said...

@ nick

You misunderstand the objection to 'reusing old infrastructure'.

Of course it makes sense to bring disused viaducts back to life, to reuse old tunnels, to upgrade old stations. The DLR has done that very successfully.

And the East London Line will do it very successfully in Hackney where an old railway's becoming a new one.

However in SE London the existing infrastructure is already creaking and adding more trains in to the mix without significantly increasing capacity results in cuts to London Bridge and Charing Cross trains. That's the problem and that's why we need something new.

PS: I keep seeing these trains that'll be used on the ELL at Clapham Junction. They're usually full like cattle trucks.

Brockley Nick said...

but there HAS been a lot of new infrastructure built as a result of this project.

And any train can be full to the brim if you put enough people in it. I fail to see why trains being full in Clapham has anything to do with what the situation will be like for us.

But I guess we'll see in May, won't we? You'll be the second curmudgeon I won a bet with after Hugh said The Talbot would never be redeveloped ;)

Anonymous said...

great, looking forward.

Matt-Z said...

@ Lou... The trains on the WLL/NLL you've seen at Clapham are 3 cars long (although they'll be upgraded to 4-car in the next year or two), they're also on a maximum frequency of 4 tph. ELL trains will be 4 cars from the start, and will have a much higher frequency. That said I wonder how long before they are full up too? There's scope for extending some but not all of the stations to 5 or 6 car length. Those in the old tunnelled section are particularly problematic, but the use of Selective Door Operation could get round this. Should this all have been done in the original project? Will a future Tory government be interested in funding another upgrade?

Anonymous said...

i used a train once and it was packed. THIS WILL BE A DISASTER! Lou, you make heed points punctuated with reactionary BS. Check before sending would be my advice.

Crofton Parker said...

Has anyone heard how late at night the ELL will run? As a shift worker I am so sick of it being so difficult to get home to here after midnight. Most overground services finish an hour or so earlier than the tube. And Brockley has a very, very poor nightbus service.

Headhunter said...

Last train to New Cross and/or Lewisham is at nearly 1am from London Bridge and there are also trains to Hither Green at about 1am. Or at least there usde to be before the Southern cuts. I have often found that I'm actually able to stay out later than people who need to catch last Tubes!

Headhunter said...

As for nightbuses, the 453 is 24 hours and runs along Lewisham Way...

Crofton Parker said...

That 1am-ish train stopping at Lewisham is very, very, very often cancelled, I had to give up. Takes two to three hours to get home with nightbuses from east london (no kidding) every night so I had been hoping the ELL might run just a bit later than most overground services. Would have changed my own personal life but then again, I know I should just move.

Banksy said...

Are the new trains any good for train surfing and do they take spary paint well?

Headhunter said...

Really? I'm not a regular user of the 1am trains but I have never known them to be cancelled and the 453 bus usually gets me home in an hour or so from its start point near Trafalgar Square.

I used to live in Catford and getting home late was much more of a nightmare an I used to regularly use the Hither Green 1am train and that was never cancelled that I remember. Only thing was that it was about a 45 minute walk at the other end. By comparison Brockley has been a dream to get home to.

I doubt the extended ELL will run that late, surely it'll be run like a normal Tube line, finishing at about 12.

Monkeyboy said...

actually you may find (and don't quote me) that because the depot where the trains sleep at night is at New Cross we will get later trains then the far reaches of the line..... I think

Crofton Parker said...

Ooh, late trains as far as New Cross would be good. Would be great if they ran to 12.30ish like tubes. Yes that late train often just did not happen - had to use it four to five times a week and it was too unreliable to count on in the end. I guess cos I live in Crofton Park the problem is extra bad, cos quite a walk from either New Cross or Lewisham. That's also a problem with existing nightbus routes except the N171, which is so irregular that often a 40min walk from Lewisham or New Cross is quicker. Probably the same as Catford, here: as you say, late-night nightmare.

Anonymous said...

k;jhlkjh

Anonymous said...

I know how much construction work has been done. I live in New cross and the road closures have been a nuisance for 2 years!

Tamsin said...

Crofton Parker - would the N343 be any good to you - from London Bridge to New Cross via Camberwell, Peckham and Honor Oak. A ridiculously long journey but you could at least snooze on the top deck. It was made more frequent a year or so back and is distressingly regular - as our house shakes every time one goes by. (Not enough to wake you, but enough to notice if you are awake...)

On the original video - fun, but not a patch on Victoria to Brighton in 3 minutes if anyone has seen that classic.

Anonymous said...

As regards the 453, I went on it on Monday as I wanted to got to Euston Road, half way up the OKR, it changed destinations and only went as far as Oxford Circus. As I am the only person it seemsin continental europe without an Oyster card( I had a combined oyster/library card from Lewisham and these have stopped working), I woudl have had to change bus to complete journey and refuse to pay another two pounds so I had to walk to complete journey in rain and arrived at posh meeting bedraggled. Is this some Borisim to stop people using BB's and justify the huge costs of replacing them as never happened to me on this service inthe past.

We are composing a song about Dalston Junction as a result of thrilling video of the ELL!

Anonymous said...

Jeez dude - maybe you should be called 'rude' instead, I was only making a passive comment.

(Anon 07 October 2009 14:37)

Crofton Parker said...

Tamsin, thanks for suggestion! N343 might seem distressingly frequent to you trying to sleep, but it really is still only once every half an hour ... which is distressingly infrequent if you are forlornly waiting for one in the middle of the night, after a long trip to get to London Bridge. It is an option, though, you're right. But it's an often over-looked downside of not being on the tube (and why it's a shame the ELL was turned over to the Overground rather than making it a tube extension) - that the most frequent nightbus routes (ie every 15 mins) are the ones that replicate the routes of the tube lines. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

@crofton parker

Take a cab.

Crofton Parker said...

Cabs home five nights a week, £25 a time ... great idea, just have to nip out now and win the lottery ...

dude said...

(Anon 07 October 2009 14:37)

Hands up it was a rude thing to say on my part, so my apologies.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing.

Headhunter said...

Anon 10:08 - If the bus changes destination part way through its journey, you can get a transfer ticket from the driver to go the rest of the way on another bus, you don't have to pay for a whole new ticket or walk.

Buses in London curtail their journeys suddenly all the time. Buses that passed through Islington when I lived there used to suddenly decide to terminate at Angel on a regular basis. It was very annoying. To be honest it's not a Borisism it happened under Ken too.

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