A new rail link that improves connections between north London, the City, Docklands and the south of the capital was opened three months ahead of schedule by the mayor of London Boris Johnson.
The 2.1km link between Highbury & Islington station (on London Overground’s Richmond to Stratford line) and Dalston Junction (on London Overground’s East London line) will mean passengers using Victoria line Tube services or National Rail services stopping at Highbury & Islington can now use fast London Overground services to reach the north, east or south of the Capital.
It will be particularly valuable for Londoners and visitors heading to Stratford for the London 2012 Games, providing another way for millions of passengers to reach the Olympic Park.
Johnson said: “We are piecing together a rail version of the M25 in the Capital, an orbital rail link that is making it vastly easier for millions of Londoners to whizz from one side of the city to another.
“This relatively short stretch of track will link three sides of the city and mean people can scoot around the edges of the Capital on fast, reliable rail connections without needing to head into central London.
“Our engineers have performed marvels to complete their work three months early and it will provide a crucial connection for people heading to the Olympic Park next year.”
London Rail managing director Mike Brown added: “The London Overground network continues to grow and offer Londoners real alternatives to journeys requiring a trip through central London.
“This link will be a huge help to passengers based on London’s outer fringes - in Hertfordshire and Welwyn Garden City for example, and for those who travel into the Capital on the Victoria or Piccadilly Tube lines.“
The route extends London Overground’s £1bn East London route which was opened in May 2010 and connects Dalston Junction with New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon.