Waterloo station upgrade: Network Rail boss apologises as signalling problem causes fresh chaos for commuters

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The boss of Network Rail has apologised to commuters after major upgrade works at Waterloo overran, causing fresh misery for commuters in the capital.

Thousands of passengers returned to work after the Bank Holiday weekend to find trains to and from Waterloo cancelled, with engineers finding a “safety-critical” issue while testing the signalling system.

The signalling problem closed four platforms during the early rush hour.

Waterloo has been undergoing a £800 million revamp, which was due to be completed this morning.

Commuters arrive at Waterloo Station after overrunning engineering works caused fresh delays (PA)

But a month’s worth of disruption went on for a further morning, with commuters taking to social media to vent their anger that the works were not completed on time.

Stations including Queenstown Road, Earlsfield and Norbiton were closed, while commuters faced huge queues at Surbiton.

Network Rail boss Mark Carne apologised to commuters in a short video posted on Twitter this morning.

Major upgrade: Engineering works at Waterloo (PA)

He said: “Let me start this short video broadcast with an apology for the fact that we have opened Waterloo this morning a little late than we had originally planned and that is causing some disruption to passengers.

“But as you see behind me the station is now fully operational and we’re working really hard with aour colleagues at South Western Railways to get the service up and running as quickly as we can.”

Disruption: Commuters were forced to queue to get into Surbiton station after trains were cancelled

He went on: “This has been an amazing project to increase the capacity of Britain’s busiest station by 30 per cent in just three weeks and I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve achieved that.

“But obviously that is of little comfort to anybody who was disrupted this morning or has indeed suffered disruption over the past three weeks and I thank you all for your patience and understanding.”

Commuters heading to Surbiton station faced chaotic scenes on Tuesday morning, with some complaining it had taken them more than an hour to board a train.

Network Rail has said Tuesday’s disruption was expected to be fully resolved by noon.

A 1,000-strong team of engineers have been working 24 hours a day for the last three-and-a-half weeks to complete the upgrade at Waterloo.


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