Throughout the construction phase of the project VGC provided a significant number of personnel including engineers, quantity surveyors, administrative staff, labourers, platelayers, concrete finishers and supervisors. VGC played a particularly important role in the track construction which ranged from fully embedded track slab to conventional ballasted trackform. At its peak VGC had more than 140 personnel on this project.
The line opened in April 2010 and has since become one of the most reliable and punctual railways in the UK. Its strategic importance has been shown by the huge increase in passenger numbers since its opening.
Originally opened in 1869, the East London railway utilised Isambard Brunel’s historic Thames Tunnel which itself was completed in 1843 and built for horse drawn traffic. After a varied history, the railway eventually became part of the London Underground network until 2007 when it closed for reconstruction.
Although utilising many of the existing structures and following the same alignment, the railway itself was completely rebuilt with new trackwork, signalling system, power supply plus new and refurbished stations.
At New Cross Gate south of the River Thames a new depot was built. This facility included train cleaning and servicing capability as well as the signalling control centre. The East London line reopened in 2010 forming a key part of the London Overground network which will eventually form a ring around London.