Five car ELL trains now a "must do" for TfL

Last month, we reported that passenger numbers on the East London Line were forecast to rise significantly by 2016. At the time, we argued that:

The great squash means that measures to boost capacity become more necessary and thus, we hope, more likely, more quickly.

Now, transport news site London Reconnections now reports that these figures mean that:

The process of expanding the 378s [ELL trains] to include a fifth car seems now to be accepted as a “must do,” with Howard Smith indicating in Modern Railways that this may happen sometime around 2013/2014. This will no doubt come as good news to the Bombardier works at Derby, were such work would have to take place. It will mean, however, selective door opening at a number of stations. 

While the interchange at Whitechapel would be among the platforms lengthened to accommodate the extra carriage, Canada Water would not. This will make life at that interchange interesting during rush hour, though it remains to be seen how much the arrival of Crossrail at Whitechapel, providing an alternative route in to the West End, will change commuting patterns.

The report also states that an extra four trains will run on the core section (from Surrey Quays to Dalston) during morning rush hour to alleviate congestion for the next year, before the arrival of the ELL to Clapham Junction, at which point, these trains will become part of that service. Finally, the report shows that the section south of New Cross Gate is capable of squeezing on an additional 2 trains per hour, meaning that Brockley could enjoy 18 tph in total during peak times.