Transport for London (TfL) has awarded a contract to Birse Metro to build the final part of the London Overground rail network that, when complete at the end of 2012, will orbit the capital.
The Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction link will mean passengers can use London Overground services to make journeys around London without needing to head into the centre of the capital.
Although most of the extension will run along existing National Rail lines, construction work has begun on a new stretch of track to link London Overground services at Surrey Quays with the existing railway at Old Kent Road.
The managing director of TfL London Rail and London Underground, Mike Brown, said: ‘We are delighted that work on this important link is proceeding, particularly in this tough economic climate, as it will deliver significant benefits to south Londoners.
“This further extension of the London Overground network will deliver a key rail link south of the river and improve local transport for Londoners by providing more choice and better access to other parts of the Capital.
“It will also double the frequency of services along this line which will help meet London’s increasing demand for more rail capacity.”
Mark Hearne, head of Birse Metro, said “Birse Metro is happy to continue working with Transport for London following the recent successful delivery of the extension to Highbury & Islington.
“With the support of Balfour Beatty Rail and working in close partnership with Transport for London we will help to deliver the project within the tight time-scales and budget to improve this key transport link for those living and working within this area of south London.”
When the new extension opens, four trains per hour will call at all stations between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays, then call at Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road before terminating at Clapham Junction.
The contract award follows the opening of a link between Dalston Junction station at the northern end of London Overground’s east London route with Highbury & Islington station on London Overground’s Richmond to Stratford line.