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Train users can now travel on an orbital route around the capital with the opening of a new extension of the London Overground.

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The service, which brings the first orbital railway to the city in 128 years, was completed with the construction of 1.3km of track south-west of Surrey Quays station, linking the East London line section of London Overground with existing track to the north east of Queen’s Road Peckham.

The link was launched today by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson said: “This fantastic new orbital railway will provide Londoners with the ability to zip around the edge of the city quickly and easily, without the need to travel in and out of the centre.

“The extension will also help serve those rapidly regenerating parts of East London where the job market is expanding and will support further growth. It’s a real blueprint for rail services of the future and a brilliant addition to our transport network.”

Four trains an hour will operate on the new link, increasing the frequency of trains between Surrey Quays and Dalston Junction from 12 trains per hour to 16.

It is estimated more than 12million passengers will use the new route each year.

Joining Mr Johnson at Clapham Junction station, a terminus for the new service, this morning Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “London is the economic powerhouse of the UK and we know how important it is to invest in the capital’s transport network – that is why we have contributed nearly £60m towards this transformational project.

“This final connection across south London will be a boon for businesses and commuters alike and I congratulate all those who worked on this successful scheme.”

The new link connects stations at Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Road, Clapham High Street, Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Queens Road Peckham, Surrey Quays, and then all stations to Highbury and Islington on the East London line section of the London Overground network.

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