Transport for London is working to increase capacity on the East London line stretch of London Overground. Work is underway to increase frequencies from the current 16 trains per hour (tph) to 18tph, with new funding now announced to further improve this to 20tph in the future.
The work to deliver an 18tph service involves relocation of four signals and associated equipment to improve signal spacing. TfL told Modern Railways it is aiming to deliver this with the May 2020 timetable change.
On 17 August Chancellor Sajid Javid confirmed investment through the Housing Infrastructure Fund, with £80.8 million allocated for ELL frequency improvements in respond to a bid from TfL. The upgrades, set to support up to 14,000 new homes in Southwark and Lewisham, include further signalling adjustments to shorten block sections and enable a 20tph service, along with an upgrade of Surrey Quays station including provision of step-free access and construction of a new station at Surrey Canal Road.
TfL retains aspirations to further increase frequency on the ELL to 24tph, which would require a switch from conventional signalling to a digital railway solution involving automatic train operation on the core section. This forms part of TfL’s strategic case for metroisation that was published earlier this year and covered enhancements on this and a number of suburban routes.