TfL has built a new 1.3km of track just south west of Surrey Quays station which links the East London line section of London Overground with existing track just north-east of Queens Rd Peckham. The route will run south of Surrey Quays station following a disused railway viaduct, past Millwall Football Club rising over Surrey Canal Road and along the edge of Bridgehouse Meadows before joining the existing National Rail lines at Old Kent Road (between South Bermondsey and Queen’s Road Peckham stations).
The diagram above shows how £75 million link will join Clapham in this huge circle. Although you won’t be able to travel the full route on one train though – you’ll need to change at both Highbury & Islington and Clapham Junction, and often Willesden Junction, to complete the circuit.
The Department for Transport has committed £40 million towards the £75 million cost. Boris and TfL have contributed £15 million. The remaining £20m has been paid by Network Rail. The new connection has led to the hire of 48 new drivers and five extra train support employees. Six four-car trains will be required to run the 4 trains an hour service. It's estimated that 12.3m passengers will use the service each year. There's more facts and figures about the extension on TfL's site.
There is a new Tube map coming out next week, which will doubtless show the extension. However, particularly liked a new "fantasy" Tube map by Oliver O'Brien that puts all of the circles in perspective.
He said "My starting principles for the diagram were concentric circles for the orbital sections of the Circle Line and the Overground network, and straight lines for the Central and Piccadilly Lines, with the latter two converging in the centre of the circles. I then squeezed everything else in. I realised that the Northern Line’s Bank branch passed the Circle Line three times so was going to need something special, so I added a sine wave for this section, and extended this north and south as much as possible."
It's another "Curvy Tube" map which it would be amazing if TfL decided to adopt one day. You may remember Max Roberts' curvy London Underground map which has a big following (online anway) and it pretty pleasing on the eye.
He originally produced this in 2007 when the East London Line was only a tiny stalk in the East and not part of the current extension. So it's interesting to see Oliver's take of the state of play as from next week.
There was also another attempt to map out the full circle a couple of years ago. It's less curvy and shows how the line run as a complete circle, but again, highly unlikely to be used!
For those who'd like to see a preview of the 40-minute Dalston Junction – Clapham Junction journey in real time, Ian Visits went along to last week's preview ride and has a driver's eye view.
If you want to be one of the first people using the trains when they start the complete loop, the first train southbound will leave Highbury and Islington at 7.11am. Or if you want to take the nothern route get to Clapham Junction for 7.20am.