In September 2015, Network Rail announced plans to electrify London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLIN), awarding £56.9m to the project.
Since work started with partial closures from June to September 2016, a full closure from October 2016 to February 2017, as well as further weekend and evening work planned until late June 2017; the project faced multiple setbacks including incorrect designs and around four months of tests before the overhead wires could finally be complete in January 2018.
These delays have of course prevented the introduction of the new Class 710 electrical multiple units (EMUs) from entering passenger service. However, Transport for London’s (TfL) plans on the introduction is now unclear, with two of the line’s current fleet of eight Class 172 diesel multiple units (DMUs) transferred to their new home at West Midlands Trains.
London Overground, operated by Arriva Rail London, was due to start the rollout of the Class 710 fleet in March 2018.
However, faults with the onboard Train Control Management System (TCMS) have hindered this.
In a stop gap measure to ensure continuity of service, a four car Class 378 has been tested on the line, and a decision is expected to be made regarding the introduction of Class 378s later this month.