Network Rail says that London Overground services on the Gospel Oak to Barking line are expected to resume tomorrow (Wednesday 19th February).

The line between Barking and South Tottenham was closed after a freight train derailment resulted in several miles of railway track being damaged. An investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Network Rail says that the repair work is almost complete with all the new track now installed. Final critical works are being carried out over the next couple of days. In total, they had to replace 39 lengths of rail track, over 5,000 concrete sleepers, 900 wooden sleepers, and some 10,000 tonnes of ballast.

(c) Network Rail

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “It’s been an absolutely mammoth task for our engineering teams working through some horrendous weather over the last couple of weekends, but we’re nearly there.”

Services are expected to restart on Wednesday 19 February but passengers are still advised to check TfL Journey Planner before travelling.


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  1. MilesT says:

    I don’t understand why the ballast had to be replaced, can someone enlighten me?

    Lifted and put back I can understand, but replaced sounds like take away old ballast (hopefully recycle) and bring in completely new (which is ideal for what is now completely new track)

    • JP says:

      Miles, being no expert but up for a challenge your request led me to a doctoral thesis University of Southampton January 2015 by one Taufan Abadi.
      What follows is what I’ve gleaned and I hope that I’ve done the chap justice.
      Derailment leads to a right old mess so apart from bits of broken rail, chairs, clips and sleepers too all mixed into the ballast layer, the very stone itself breaks.
      Ballast needs must be of a certain grade and if too small in too many places it leads to excess settlement and consequential sleeper displacement and deflection. This, as you might imagine, leads to derailment. Again.
      Hope this helps, the thesis is tubthumpingly good at 302pp.


    This expeditious recovery Service, will leave all Passengers heartened to know what is possible , if, this Line becomes a Metro Service ( Turn up and go) in 2021 or 2022.

    Let’s hope new Signalling can be installed as quickly.

    A TfL consultation on this generation’s requirements is surely required after 12 months of normal Service.

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