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City Hall over the moon as Overground reaches first birthday

PUBLISHED: 23:40 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

THE first anniversary of the Overground’ has seen a boost in passenger numbers and improved performance, transport chiefs are claiming this week. The Overground took over decaying Victorian railways in November last year that had been run down for decades. Few wanted to venture on them, especially after dark. Now seven-out-of-10 regular passengers are said to have seen improvements in the past 12 months, according to a City Hall survey

Mike Brooke

CITY Hall transport bosses are over the moon with their new Overground Line.

The first anniversary of the Overground’ has seen a boost in passenger numbers and improved performance, transport chiefs are claiming this week.

The Overground, soon to be joined by the East London Line now being extended northwards from Whitechapel to Shoreditch and Dalston, took over decaying Victorian railways in November last year that had been run down for decades.

Few wanted to venture on them, especially after dark.

Now seven-out-of-10 regular passengers are said to have seen improvements in the past 12 months, according to a City Hall survey. More than half said staff visibility’ has improved and stations were getting cleaner.

Passengers a year ago were beefing about the dirt and danger in isolated stations on the old forgotten’ lines that orbit around central London.

Stations were then spruced up as the old lines were brought under the same umbrella as its sister London Underground network with an interchangeable system of fares. New trains are also coming on line.’

“Most of the network had been neglected for decades,” London Rail managing director Ian Brown admits.

“So we’re putting in £1.4 billion to upgrade the network. By 2011, passengers will see faster trains and rejuvenated stations.”

The next stage is in 2010, when the East London Line from Whitechapel to New Cross, first opened in 1871, is reopened after two years closure with through’ trains to Dalston northwards and Croydon southwards, forming the eastern leg of the orbital’ network.


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