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East London trains start running – with a party 25 May 2010

Posted by Philip Peake in Transport.
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As you’ve probably heard, the new East London line of the London Overground started operating its full service on Sunday, and I joined colleagues, residents and the Forest Hill Society for our own inaugaral trip to Dalston Junction. As you can see in the photo we had plenty of balloons, and also entertainment from the City Shanty band, who sang both on the train and then gave us and passers by a short concert at Dalston; and Teatro Vivo provided theatrical entertainment. As well as making the day fun, they were a taste of the delights which will be available at the Sydenham Festival, starting soon.

So the service. Trains were unsurprisingly shiny and new, with decent air-conditioning, and the ride is a world away from the bone-shaking service provided by the knacked Metropolitan line trains on the old East London Line. The new stations on the northern section (I’ve visted Shoreditch High St, Hoxton and Dalston Junction) seem pretty roomy and have typically contemporary design – if you like concrete, you’ll love Shoreditch High St, which they seem to have built as a concrete box in mid-air. Though arriving at this latter one on foot was a little tricky, as neither TfL or Tower Hamlets Council have signposted it clearly, and (although it crosses Shoreditch High Street) the entrance is tucked away on Wheeler Street (joins Bethnal Green Road to Commercial Road).

No doubt it’s going to be a pretty useful addition to our travel options and we’re soon going to wonder how we ever got places without it.

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