East London Line to get major capacity boost

The TfL Draft Business Plan, launched yesterday, proposes to lengthen the East London Line trains to five carriages and add another two trains per hour to the service by 2015. The plan is TfL's wishlist for the next 10 years of infrastructure investment.

It says:

Demand for London Overground services has grown by 160 per cent in the last five years on the original network. With the East London line included the overall demand has trebled. This growth is outstripping capacity and causing severe peak-time congestion. 

Therefore TfL plans to lengthen trains and increase frequency (an additional two trains per hour) on the East London line to boost capacity and ease overcrowding. In addition, trains will be lengthened on the West London, North London, Euston to Watford and the Gospel Oak to Barking lines. These projects will provide 25 per cent more peak capacity, supporting the growth of the 10 Mayoral Opportunity Areas served by London Overground.

The East London Line will be the first part of the Overground network to benefit from a capacity increase. Other increases should be delivered by 2016.

The Evening Standard notes:

Transport chiefs admit the plan is reliant on chancellor George Osborne approving up to £2 billion per year in capital funding starting from 2014/15.

Even if those negotiations are relatively unfruitful, we can be reasonably confident that the ELL upgrades will go ahead, since they are comparatively cheap and urgently needed.