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Network Rail boss tells Waterloo commuters to stay home in August

Waterloo StaThe boss of Network Rail says major upgrades and engineering work will seriously impact train services from  London Waterloo Station next month. Mark Carne told media sources that commuters using South West services would face major delays and would be better off staying at home until the work is done.

Upgrades to increase the passenger capacity at Waterloo  will close 10 of the station’s platforms between the 5 and 28 August. The closure means an expected 40 per cent reduction in the number of trains operating on routes to commuter catchment  towns including Surbiton and Guildford.

The upgrades at Waterloo will lengthen the 10 platforms so they can accommodate trains with more carriages. Chief-executive Carne noted that the extensions would increase daily passenger by 35,000. He explained that shutting a big part of the UK’s busiest railway station for so long was going to be challenging.

Mr Carne added that commuters could maybe work from home, try to avoid travelling during peak hours or schedule their annual holidays to coincide with the shutdown. The closure of another seven South West stations during the same period will exacerbate delays. Staff at other stations say they expect long queues of travellers during commuter hours.

The Waterloo upgrade is scheduled to finish on bank holiday Monday. Other ongoing rail projects will see the suspension of Southeastern services from Waterloo East, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street over the bank holiday. London Euston is also closed for two days on the same weekend to allow work for the HS2 to go ahead.

 

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