Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 12:53 UK

East London Line officially opened by Boris Johnson

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Introducing the East London Line

The new East London Line has been opened to the public, forming part of the London Overground network.

A "preview" service of eight trains an hour will run between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction, between 0700 BST and 2000 BST, from Monday to Friday.

Full evening and weekend services will begin on 23 May, when 12 trains will run each hour.

Trains will travel through Whitechapel station and Shoreditch High Street, a flagship Zone 1 station.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who officially opened the route, said: "This new railway will bring jobs and opportunities to communities up and down the line, massively improving access for hundreds of thousands of people.

"This type of investment is essential if London, throwing off the shackles of recession, is to emerge with the ability to grow, prosper, and secure its position at the summit of world cities, to the benefit of all Londoners."

Boris Johnson at the opening of East London Line

Oyster cards can be used on the new trains which have no doors separating the carriages, allowing passengers to walk the length of the train.

The opening is the first phase of a £1bn extension of the line.

Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross said: "This is a vital rail link that will be welcomed across London.

"But it's a bit rich for Boris Johnson to try and take credit for it in the middle of the election campaign when it was in fact funded and started by a Labour mayor thanks to Labour government funding."

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly, also criticised Mr Johnson.

"Right in the middle of a general election campaign, the mayor is desperate to claim credit for something he didn't initiate," she said.

Engineering works are continuing to extend the East London Line to Highbury and Islington by Spring 2011. An extension of the line to Clapham Junction, in south-west London, is planned by 2012.

The line will form part of a planned wider London Overground orbital network, which will allow passengers to travel around London on the line without having to enter central areas of the city.



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