Journey advice ahead of £800million railway upgrade

NETWORK Rail and South West Trains have published detailed information to help passengers plan their journeys in advance, ahead of some major disruptions taking place this summer.

As part of an £800 million Railway Upgrade Plan, between 5 and 28 August Platforms 1 to 9 at London Waterloo will close. And while Platforms 20 to 24 will temporarily re-open, significantly fewer trains will run right across the network.

Construction will also start on extending Platforms 1 to 4 to accommodate longer trains on suburban routes, a crucial part of the Waterloo & South West upgrade, which will provide 30% more passenger space during the busiest times of the day.

The majority of stations will have fewer services while a small number will be closed.

Becky Lumlock, Route Managing Director of Network Rail, said: “We’re in the midst of the largest upgrade at Waterloo for decades and this is a significant part of the plan. Currently the majority of our engineering work is behind the scenes, but in August we have a number of critical pieces of the programme to complete.

“This means big changes and we want passengers to be equipped to plan ahead. Waterloo is the busiest railway station in Britain and numbers are continuing to grow. We therefore need to increase capacity.”

Christian Roth, Managing Director, South West Trains, added: “We are doing everything we can to inform passengers and businesses more than six months in advance so they understand the possible impact, whether regular commuters or infrequent travellers.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers have a simple message: ‘provide me with clear information about how my journey will be affected, how it will impact on me and what alternatives are in place’.

“It is reassuring to see Network Rail and South West Trains are committed to understanding more about their passengers’ needs.

“Staff need to be on hand to provide passengers with information to minimise disruption.”

In addition to the works in August, there will be works at London Waterloo on some weekends from Easter through to October. More details will be published closer to the time but passengers are reminded to continue to check ahead.

The information is available online and includes more detailed travel advice for each station, draft service information and a special ‘at a glance’ train service map.

In addition, Network Rail and South West Trains are starting a large passenger roadshow, with 61 events in stations and on trains until 15 February.

FOR more details and to plan your journey, pick up an updated leaflet, visit www.southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade or search ‘Waterloo Upgrade’ online.

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