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London Overground – five carriage trains arrive!

This morning there was an event to celebrate the arrival of the first five carriage train on the East London line. This first train will go into service early next week and two more five carriage trains will be introduced each week. This means that by March 2015 all 24 carriage trains on the East London line will be five rather than four carriages in length.

The East London section is the first to have its trains lengthened. A further 33 trains on the southern extension and North London line will then lengthened at a total cost of £320m.

The extended trains will each be able to carry 27 per cent more passengers (the extra two per cent is because the passenger cab has been moved).

The trains will also, of course, be 25 per cent longer. This means that when the new trains call at stations with shorter platforms along the line (Wapping, Whitechapel, Rotherhithe and Canada Water) passenger will not be able to access the very last door on the train. (In 2018 with the arrival of Crossrail, Whitechapel station will be completely remodelled with longer platforms).

This is a welcome addition to train capacity to and from Sydenham. Now we need to press for the two extra trains per hour on the ELL (from Crystal Palace to H&I) promised in London Overground’s future plans.

Note: In the first year of its operation, London Overground carried 2.5m passengers; in the past year it has carried 11m passengers.