London Overground Rail Operations
Company typePrivate company
IndustryRail transport
Founded11 November 2007
Defunct13 November 2016
Area served
Greater London and Hertfordshire, England
Key people
Steve Murphy, Chairman
ServicesTrain operations

London Overground Rail Operations Limited[1] was a train operating company contracted to operate the London Overground train service on the National Rail network, under the franchise control of Transport for London. The company was a 50/50 joint venture between Arriva UK Trains and MTR Corporation.[2]


On 20 February 2006, the Department for Transport announced that Transport for London would take over management of services then provided by Silverlink Metro.[3]

In June 2006, Transport for London announced that Govia, MTR/Laing Rail, National Express and NedRail had been shortlisted to bid for the London Rail Concession.[4] In September 2006, Transport for London announced that the extended East London Line would be included, and the operation branded London Overground.[5]

In June 2007, Transport for London awarded the concession to MTR Laing, and operations started on 11 November 2007.[6] The concession was for six years, four months until 31 March 2014 with a two-year extension option.[7] The option was taken up with the concession to end on 12 November 2016.[8]

In December 2007, Henderson Group, the parent company of John Laing plc, announced the sale of the Laing Rail division, which comprised half of LOROL, Chiltern Railways and a stake in the Wrexham & Shropshire open-access railway operator. In April 2008, Laing Rail was bought by the German Government's rail operator Deutsche Bahn, which now holds a 50% stake in LOROL.[9] The price was said to be around 170 million.[10] Laing Rail became part of DB Regio, before a restructuring saw it moved under the control of Arriva UK Trains.

In April 2015, Transport for London placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting expressions of interest in operating the next concession.[11] On 31 May 2015, London Overground Rail Operations took over the Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford services, as well as the Romford to Upminster service, from Abellio Greater Anglia.[12]

In July 2015, Transport for London announced the shortlisted bidders for the next concession were Arriva UK Trains, ComfortDelGro, a Keolis/Go-Ahead joint venture and MTR Corporation.[13] In March 2016, Arriva Rail London was awarded the concession commencing 13 November 2016.[14]


London Overground operates these services:

Rolling stock

London Overground inherited a fleet of Class 150 Sprinter diesel multiple units, and Class 313 and Class 508 electric multiple units, from Silverlink. Between 2009 and 2011, the Sprinters were replaced with new Class 172 Turbostar units, and the Class 313s and 508s with new Class 378 Capitalstar units.

London Overground further inherited a number of Class 315 and Class 317 EMUs from Abellio Greater Anglia upon the takeover of the Lea Valley lines from Liverpool Street and the Romford–Upminster line on 31 May 2015.

Final fleet

Class Image Type Number Cars per set Seat layout Routes operated Built
172/0 Turbostar DMU 8 2 2+2 Gospel Oak to Barking line 2010
315 EMU 19 4 2+3 Lea Valley lines
Romford–Upminster line
317/7 8 2+2 Lea Valley lines 1981–1982
317/8 6 2+3
378/1 Capitalstar 20 5 Longitudinal East London line
South London line
378/2 Capitalstar 37 North London line
West London line
East London line
South London line
Watford DC line

Past fleet

Class Image Type Number Cars per set Seat layout Routes operated Built
150/1 Sprinter DMU 8 2 2+3 Gospel Oak to Barking line 1984–1987
313/1 EMU 23 3 North London line
West London line
Watford DC line
321/4 2 4 Romford–Upminster line 1988–1990
508/3 3 3 Watford DC line 1979–1980


London Overground's fleet was maintained at New Cross and Willesden depots.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 5668786 London Overground Rail Operations Limited
  2. ^ "About Us". LOROL. April 2008. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  3. ^ Darling, Alistair (14 February 2006). "Silverlink Metro". Hansard. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Four bidders on TfL London Rail Concession shortlist" (Press release). Transport for London. 7 June 2006.
  5. ^ "Introducing London Overground – a new era for London Rail" (Press release). Transport for London. 5 September 2006.
  6. ^ "MTRLaing appointed to run London Overground" (Press release). John Laing. 19 June 2007.
  7. ^ "MTR Laing beats Go-Ahead unit Govia to win North London rail franchise". Hemscott. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  8. ^ London Overground operator appointed to run additional services for TfL Arriva 4 June 2014
  9. ^ "Deutsche Bahn acquires LOROL" (Press release). LOROL. 1 April 2008. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008.
  10. ^ Graham, Dave (20 January 2008). "Germany's Deutsche Bahn to buy Laing Rail-report". Reuters. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  11. ^ TfL starts search for next operator to run Overground[permanent dead link] Transport for London 9 April 2015
  12. ^ London Overground operator appointed to run additional services for TfL Archived 17 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Travel & Tour World 4 June 2013
  13. ^ "Four bidders shortlisted for London Overground operating concession". Railway Gazette International. 29 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Arriva wins £1.5bn London Overground contract". BBC News. 18 March 2016.
New creation Operator of London Overground concession 2007–2016 Succeeded byArriva Rail London