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Three-year nightmare is over! Full service resumes on Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line

PUBLISHED: 16:42 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 24 June 2019

One of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfL

One of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfL

© Transport for London

It's finally over. Three years of nightmare journeys on the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line should be done with after regular service resumed today.

One of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfLOne of the new Overground trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak route. Picture: TfL

All of the new Class 710 trains are now up and running on the line nicknamed the Goblin, which means services will run every 15 minutes again. It had been reduced to every half-an-hour due to a lack of trains.

It all started with an eight-month closure to install overhead wires from June 2016 to February 2017. But a gaffe by Network Rail meant the wires were "incorrectly designed", while other materials were delivered late.

The line closed for another two months at the end of 2017, before opening in January 2018 ready for the new trains.

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Except, Network Rail didn't finish safety checks on the new line until June last year, and a new launch time of "summer" 2018 was given because the new four-car Bombardier built trains needed "further software development".

That software problems continued into this year, after the lease on the existing trains ran out. That meant TfL had to borrow trains from other lines. The first two swanky new trains were eventually rolled out a month ago, with the rest arriving today.

A spokesperson for the Gospel Oak to Barking Rail User Group urged some caution, though. They said: "A note of restraint. I don't think Goblin passengers should rely on a full 15-minute service being provided until six units have been fielded daily for a few weeks.

"Plan for a 30-minute wait and treat a 15-minute one as a bonus!"

Sadiq Khan has promised passengers a free month of travel in September as an apology. He secured the agreement from manufacturer Bombardier, which will foot the bill.

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