OBITUARY: Richard Pout, ‘father’ of the London Overground, dies at 65

15:31 21 July 2014

Overground rail campaigner Richard Pout

Overground rail campaigner Richard Pout

Barking-Gospel Oak Rail User grp

The ‘father’ of the London Overground who began his campaign 20 years ago for better rail services across east London has died.

Campaigner Richard takes London Assembly's Caroline Pidgeon on fact-finding train journey in 2012Campaigner Richard takes London Assembly's Caroline Pidgeon on fact-finding train journey in 2012

Richard Pout died earlier this month from a heart attack while waiting for a bypass operation.

The veteran transport activist fought for more trains on the North London Line through Stratford and Hackney for improvements to the run-down East London Line between Whitechapel and New Cross.

His single-minded vision finally won over the Mayor of London for the new Overground orbital network launched in 2007 which eventually incorporated both lines.

“He was the ‘father’ of the London Overground,” said Glenn Wallis, secretary of the Barking-Gospel Oak rail user group which was part of Richard’s campaign.

“His lasting memorial will be the Overground. He came up with the idea for an orbital network in the mid-1990s and the need for all London rail services to be under one transport authority.”

He won over Ken Livingstone who went on to successfully lobby the government to transfer many rail services to the Mayor’s Office.

“Richard was a larger-than-life character, always coming up with ideas,” Glenn added.

“He was forthright, passionate and emphatic about the things he believed in and sometimes ruffled a few feathers.

“The world of transport campaigning has lost one of its most articulate voices.”

He was also involved in environmental campaigns including opposing the planned East London River Crossing at Beckton.

Transport historian Christian Wolmar has suggested TfL name one of its Overground trains ‘Richard H Pout’ in his honour.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories


A debate about the future of a much-loved statue will be held next year, the mayor has said.


As the Essex Investigator he solved cases across Newham. Now the PI shows reporter Mark Shales the dangers of the internet.


Five companies have been given a total of £20,000 in grants thanks to The International Quarter Community Fund.

Yesterday, 20:09

London City Airport has reopened following a suspected chemical incident this afternoon.

London Fire Brigade

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now