Network Rail – First step in the rebuild of the railway at Britain’s busiest station

Published on : Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Network RailThe start of a major improvement programme to renew the infrastructure at London Waterloo station is planned to take place during the Christmas period.


The Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance will be investing around £1m in track upgrades as part of an ongoing programme of improvements to boost reliability on one of the busiest sections of railway in Britain.


The programme of work carried out over Christmas will include the replacement of critical switches and crossings which are more than 30 years old and are used to control train movements into the busiest part of Europe’s most heavily used station. The work will affect platforms 1 to 9 which will be out of use while the track work takes place.


The improvement works have been timed to ensure the least disruption for passengers and will take place on 27, 28 and 29 December. Traditionally during the Christmas holiday period, around half the number of passengers travel on services to and from London Waterloo than at other times of the year.


Train services will continue to run throughout the works with around half of the normal level of trains available for passengers. However, some services will start and terminate at stations away from London Waterloo and passengers may have to change trains to complete their journeys. Passengers are strongly advised to check the timetable in advance of travel for details of the changes on journeys into Waterloo and other changes to the timetable over Christmas.


Tim Shoveller, managing director of the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, said: “With more than 100m passengers a year travelling through Waterloo station there is never a good time to carry out work which affects the level of service we can provide.


“However, we normally see around half the number of passengers travelling over Christmas than at other times of the year, so it provides a good opportunity to carry out much needed improvement work on the track on the busy approach to the Waterloo station. This will provide a more reliable infrastructure which will help to deliver a better level of service to passengers.


“Since the start of the alliance, we have hugely increased the amount of maintenance on our network and are now investing an extra £3 million a year to improve the quality of the infrastructure on the UK’s busiest commuter network. At the same time, we are pushing ahead with plans to significantly improve the infrastructure around Waterloo station by extending existing platforms and bringing all of the former international platforms back into use.”


A 350 tonne road crane will be used to lift pre-built sections of track onto the railway. The track will then be moved into place using a crane operated from on the railway. The old track will be removed from the worksite by an engineering train.


Tim Shoveller added: “Using a road crane to lift pre-built sections of track onto the railway is part of the alliance’s efforts to complete the work as quickly as possible and keep disruption to a minimum. We are committed to improving the network and will continue to invest in Waterloo station and the track on the approach to provide a better railway for passengers.”


A multi-million pound package of improvements will build on the work over Christmas and further improve the reliability of the infrastructure and help boost capacity.


Platform 20 in the Waterloo International Terminal will be brought into permanent use in April 2014 and work will take place during 2014 to reinstate further platforms in the terminal. Extra carriages will be added to trains to provide additional capacity and seats for passengers.


Source:- Network Rail

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