On Friday 7th October I did a whistlestop tour around various railway developments and amongst them the progress being made to connect the East London Line south of Surrey Quays so it can connect to Clapham Junction and thus create an orbital railway around London.
This link will be ready in Spring 2012 and follows an old railway alignment which closed in 1911 between Rotherhithe and Peckham. It threads its way through an area alongside Millwall Football Club, between businesses and homes to make this 1.5m connection.
Work was proceeding at a great speed and the day I was there was immediately prior to the arrival of the bridge to span Surrey Canal Road which was at that moment on the motorway being escorted to London.
Above therefore is perhaps the last picture of the site prior to the arrival of the bridge which went into place over the weekend.
The East London Line is growing at a remarkable rate. Dating back to 1869 this quiet backwater of the London Underground was to some extent neglected and unloved. It had a thorough refurbishment in the mid 1990s only to have a complete upgrade as part of a bigger and better Overground and opening again in 2011 after a three year upgrade to Network Rail standards. Now connected to the North London Line it provided new links across north east inner London.
With the new section opened next year the missing link will allow further orbital journeys to give relief to hard-pressed main line stations including London Bridge.
|The new bridge being lifted into position|