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Boris opens ‘rail version of M25’ East London link

A key link in the suburban orbital railway was opened today by London mayor Boris Johnson, giving easier access for visitors to the London Olympics.

The new extension to the long-awaited East London Line is the latest section of the projected overground orbital railway planned to circle around London. Running from Dalston Junction to Highbury and Islington, the new extension will enable commuters using the Victoria, national rail and London overground to transfer at Highbury and Islington for Canary Wharf, cutting out central London.

Sports fans will love the line, useful for many of the 60,000 Arsenal supporters converging on Emirates Stadium, and the many thousands of visitors headed for the 2011 London Olympics will see the orbital line finished by early next year with direct connections across and around the city to Stratford, the site of the Olympic Stadium.

As he opened the East London Line, a happy Mayor of London said the city is piecing together the rail version of the M25 motorway without the traffic jams – an orbital rail link aimed at making travelling easier for million of Londoners. In his usual enthusiastic fashion, he painted a picture of commuters and tourists, ’whizzing and scooting’ around the edges of the city without the need to cross London.

Mr Johnson congratulated the engineers and workers on the line for finishing 3 months ahead of schedule, and promised fast, reliable connections provided by 20 air-conditioned trains running at 15 minute intervals. He added the relatively short new section of track is a link with existing services for three side of the city. The East London Line, opened last May and now with its new extension, is expected to carry 100,000 passengers a day, with many more during the Olympic Games.

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