Monday, 12 July 2010

A Rare Experience

This weekend I had an experience that is as rare as hen’s teeth: a ride on a new piece of British railway track. With the exception of the high speed link to the Channel Tunnel, practically no new railway line has been laid in this country for years. True, the track I travelled won’t break any distance records, and true, it mostly follows old trackbed, but it will make a big difference to a lot of journeys. The East London line was a strange bit of orphaned Underground that ran from New Cross and New Cross Gate to Shoreditch. But from May 2010 it has been a case of “RIP East London Line, long live the London Overground.” 

The latter has been responsible for transforming the tube into a real railway with some underground bits (Brunel’s original Thames tunnel), but mostly overground, with southern extensions to West Croydon and Crystal Palace, and a northern extension (the new bit) from Shoreditch to Dalston Junction. Next year, it will reach its northern extent, Highbury and Islington. If you’d like to experience something unusual without leaving the country - a pristine railway, with fast and frequent air conditioned trains - try this bit of the London Overground. And here’s hoping that the last link in what is going to be the closest thing to an orbital railway for London, joining Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays via Peckham, doesn’t get kyboshed by the public spending axe which is currently spilling blood on the carpets of Whitehall in general, and the Department of Transport in particular. (pictures: Wiki)

1 comment:

  1. Living without a car is a rare experience. I think everybody should do it as it is very different kind of feeling travelling in tube's and bus

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