Waterloo trains: commuters hit out at 'chaos' as services hit by fresh disruption

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Fed-up commuters today described “chaotic” scenes at Waterloo, with one claiming getting on board a train was “like trying to find the last lifeboat on the Titanic.”

The problems affected thousands of passengers this morning with the station at a quarter of capacity this morning.

It follows weeks of disruption for commuters who pay thousands of pounds for season tickets into London every year.

Andrew Shanahan, 26, a currency broker who travels from south west London, said: “Today was chaos and getting on the train was like trying to find the last lifeboat on the Titanic.

“As soon as the doors opened, no one was getting off. People were shouting to move down but no one wanted to stand in first class inc ase they were fined.

Major upgrade: Engineering works at Waterloo (PA)

“Everyone was agitated, hot and sweaty.

“It was uncomfortable, overcrowded and people were anxious over whether their train would come.

“People are at the end of their tether.

“We expected it to get better today but if anything this was the worst it’s been.”

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

Passengers coming into London from Hampshire were also affected by cancellations and delays this morning.

Accountant Bealinda Lucas, 25, who pays £400 a month for her ticket, said: “I came in fron Whitchurch in Hampshire and my train was cancelled at Basingstoke and we had to get another.

“This is not good enough.

“I gave them them benefit of the doubt for three weeks of the disruption but today I did expect them to be back on time.”

Verity Davidge, 29, a comms worker, travelled to Waterloo from Basingstoke.

She said: “I was planning on getting the 6.51am train in but it was cancelled. I was early so ran with all my might to get the 6.42 which is the first one to London.

“I had three weeks of this so knew what to expect. I’ve been lucky because my employer has been flexible. But I was expecting it would be fixed today.

“I’m already planning on leaving early tomorrow after my experience of being herded like cattle through barriers at the station.

“You have to go right around it to get to the platforms. If I miss my train there’s not another for an hour.

“For the price I pay for my ticket and the lack of compensation on offer, it’s a slap in thr face.”

David Hodgkinson, 39, an accountant, received a £350 payment when he renewed his season ticket from South Western Railway at the weekend.

He said: “It’s money I didn’t know I had last week. For the disruption I would have preferred to avoid it, but the money doesn’t make me feel as bad.

“It’s been really bad and it’s disappointing for commuters.”

Network Rail said Waterloo was now fully reopened after one of the “largest and most complex” upgrades in the station’s history.

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

The work was part of the £800 million Waterloo and South West upgrade which will boost capacity at the station by 30 per cent by December 2018, providing space for another 45,000 passengers at morning and evening peaks.


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