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How long will the Waterloo Station upgrade work last, which South West Trains services are cancelled and what are the latest travel updates?

Thousands of commuters are facing travel misery as London's busiest station undergoes a huge renovation.

Commuters are facing a summer of travel misery as huge parts of Waterloo Station close for renovation.

Around half of London’s busiest station was shut on Saturday and will remain out of use until August 28, resulting in a severely reduced service.

What is happening at Waterloo station?

On Saturday, 10 of the station’s 25 platforms closed until August 24 and over the Bank Holiday Weekend of August 25-28 there will be a total 14 platforms out of action.

There will also some works on weekends through September and October, but details are yet to be finalised.

The work is for ambitious plans to create a “spacious, modern and accessible station concourse” by rebuilding the former Eurostar terminal, Waterloo International.

Engineers also plan to extend platforms 1-4 and bring platforms 20-24 back into use, plus new technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.

Platforms are being lengthened at stations along the Reading line to take longer trains with more carriages.

Why is Waterloo station closing?

The £800 million Waterloo and South West Upgrade is designed to bring faster and more frequent services with a new fleet of 30 trains, providing 150 extra carriages between London and Windsor.

Waterloo is the UK’s busiest station with more than 99 million people passing through each year, but the existing infrastructure it is creaking under the strain.

South West Trains operates 1,700 services carrying 650,000 passengers a day, making it the busiest commuter operator in Europe.

Journeys on this line have more than doubled in the last 20 years to 234million a year, and that figure is expected to rise a further 40 per cent by 2043.

The upgrades at Waterloo station are the biggest ever single concentration of work by Network Rail.

How will South West Trains services be affected?

During the main works in August, services will be drastically reduced as there will be fewer platforms in use.

Passengers have been told to expect longer journeys and busy services during morning and evening peak travel times.

The work will have a huge knock-on effect on commuter services from Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Wiltshire.

Busy services from Basingstoke, Guildford and Reading will be affected.

Some suburban stations in South West London will be shut and others are likely to have long queues as passengers wait to board crowded trains.

Stations to be closed August 5-28 include Queenstown Road, Earlsfield, Norbiton, Malden Manor, Tolworth, Chessington North and Chessington South.

Those remaining open but much busier than usual with far fewer trains include Clapham Junction, Surbiton, Woking, Putney, Kingston and Richmond.

Which local stations serving Waterloo will be closed during the works?

Commuters are being told not to travel from Waterloo station throughout August.

The following local stations serving Waterloo will be closed from August 5 to 28.

  • Chessington North
  • Chessington South
  • Earlsfield
  • Malden Manor
  • Norbiton
  • Queenstown Road
  • Tolworth

There will also be fewer trains at:

  • Clapham Junction
  • Surbiton
  • Woking
  • Putney
  • Kingston
  • Richmond

What is the advice to passengers?

Railway bosses say passengers should avoid heading to Waterloo for the whole of August if possible – and should find another route or simply stay at home.

Commuters were told about the future disruption in a leaflet they were handed as they arrived at Waterloo Station back in October last year.

It says: “During this time we will not be able to run as many services as usual.

“There will be significant reductions in services for some stations and a small number will be closed.

“The impact on your journey will vary depending on where and when you are travelling.

“If you are able to do so, you might want to consider working from home or taking a holiday during some or all of this time.”

Passengers are strongly advised to avoid changing trains at Wimbledon, Vauxhall and Clapham Junction as queuing and one-way systems will be in place.

Peak house will be particularly disrupted, with passengers strongly urged to avoid the following times:

  • Vauxhall: 7.30am-9.00am
  • Clapham Junction: 6.45am-9.30am
  • Surbiton: 7.30am-8.30am
  • Wimbledon: 7.30am-9.00am
  • London Waterloo: 5.00pm-6.45pm
  • Vauxhall: 5.00pm-6.30pm
  • Clapham Junction: 5.00pm-7.30pm
  • Wimbledon: 5.00pm-7.00pm

Why will London Bridge be closed on August Bank Holiday weekend?

Services to and from London Bridge will be cancelled or rerouted to allow for "significant work" on the Thameslink upgrade programme and the rebuilding of the station, with works planned every bank holiday this year.

There will be no Southeastern trains at all to or from London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations over the eight days from Saturday August 26 to Saturday September 2.

It means there will be fewer trains to London and those that do runs will be diverted to other stations.

There will be no Southeastern services through Blackfriars on 28 August and 2 September only.

Source: The Sun

9 August 2017