London News & Search
Londoners will face major disruption as a large swathe of the UK’s busiest station shuts down for major improvement work on Saturday.
The £400m revamp at Waterloo, involving an army of 1,000 Network Rail engineers, is set to extend platforms for longer trains, making room for more seats and creating extra space for passengers.
Platforms 1-9 at will be closed, while platforms 20-24 will temporarily open with limited services operating.
London’s busiest stations such as Wimbledon, Earlsfield, Richmond, Clapham Junction and Vauxhall are expected to be busier while commuters travelling on the Northern line from Colliers Wood, Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway can expect delays.
With an average of 270,000 journeys made to or from Waterloo every day, rail chiefs have urged passengers to consider taking a holiday, working from home or travelling earlier or later than normal while the work is being carried out.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has previously admitted he is “worried there will be challenging days” and accepted that “there are going to be days when the service is very difficult for people”.
The project to extend the platforms at Waterloo will allow longer trains to operate on suburban routes from December next year.
First Group and Hong Kong-based MTR will take over the South West Trains franchise from Stagecoach on August 20.
The Waterloo work will culminate over the August bank holiday weekend, when it will be one of a number of large projects being carried out.
Passengers hoping to take a leisure trip on the final public holiday before Christmas will find major changes to services out of London Bridge, London Euston, London Liverpool Street and London Paddington, as well as Waterloo.
The work at Euston will be one of the first major physical projects in preparation for the HS2 high-speed railway, as a new power supply is installed at the station.
Network Rail said it carries out major engineering work on bank holidays as up to 50 per cent fewer passengers use the railway during those periods.
London News & Search