Transport for London (TfL) ordered 54 new class 710 EMUs from Bombardier to replace the diesel trains on London’s Overground network, with the fleet first introduced on the Gospel Oak - Barking line and later expanded to the London Euston/Watford route and on services out of London Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.

The new fleet has doubled capacity on the line and restored 15-minute headways. The trains can carry 700 passengers and feature free Wi-Fi, USB ports, air-conditioning, wheelchair spaces and real-time on-board information screens.

The first train was introduced in May, with more units introduced over the summer. The line is used by 30,000 passengers daily.

The month of free travel was requested by Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this year and will be funded by Bombardier.

The line was originally closed for eight months at the end of 2016 to allow for the installation of 25kv ac overhead electrification, with the work due to be completed by the end of February 2017. However, a number of structures which were built to carry the overhead lines were incorrectly designed and could not be installed at the planned locations along the 22.5km route, and the line was only partially electrified when it was reopened.

The delivery of the class 710 fleet was also delayed.

“We know this has been a long wait for those who regularly use the line,” says TfL’s director of rail, Mr Jon Fox. “This is why the mayor has secured funding from the manufacturer to give Gospel Oak to Barking customers a month of free travel in September, as a thank you for their patience.”

Customers will be required to have a valid ticket or tap in and out when using Oyster or contactless devices during the free travel month. The part of the journey made on the Gospel Oak to Barking line will be refunded, based on the full single pay-as-you-go-fare.

For detailed information on fleet orders around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.