Wednesday 26 Jul 2017
Hampshire rail passengers advised of up to 30 minute waiting times at stations during August upgrade
Network Rail and South West Trains are today advising passengers in Hampshire to expect waiting times of up to 30 minutes at some stations during the busiest parts of the day, while Network Rail carries out the largest upgrade scheme at Waterloo for decades this August.
From 5-28 August, platforms 1-10 will close to allow Network Rail’s engineers to extend platforms 1-4 to accommodate longer, 10-car trains, and to modify platforms 5-8. During this period, significantly fewer trains will be running across the South West Railway.
As a result, stations across the network will be much busier than normal and passengers will need to wait longer for their trains. Network Rail and South West Trains estimate waiting times of up to 20 minutes at Winchester, 30 minutes at London Waterloo, and queues at other stations across the network during the busiest times of day.*
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “This August we’re carrying out the single largest package of investment at Waterloo for decades as part of our £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade. This will ultimately lead to space for 45,000 extra passengers during the busiest times of day, equivalent to more than the capacity of the Oval and the O2 Arena combined.
“Doing major improvement work is always disruptive, so we’re providing these estimates on waiting times to make sure that passengers have everything they need to plan ahead. At the same time, we’re also continuing to advise passengers to travel earlier or later than normal to avoid the busiest times of day, or to consider working from home where possible.”
“I fully appreciate there’s never a good time to close any section of the railway, but we’ll be doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible, and passengers will see extra staff at stations who will be on hand to provide information and advice.”
Adam Piddington, customer service director at South West Trains, added: “Asking passengers to queue outside stations is never a decision we take lightly but we do expect these works to cause some temporary inconvenience for our passengers and we want to be as honest as possible.
“We have carried out an extensive 12 month campaign to raise awareness of the works taking place and we ask passengers for their patience while these works are carried out which will provide extra capacity for the growing numbers of passengers who use this railway.”
Independent research carried out by Transport Focus, the independent transport watchdog, shows that 84% of passengers are already aware of the Waterloo upgrade, and around half are planning to work from home, use another office or take annual leave during the part-closure.
Passengers are advised to check how their journey will be impacted by visiting southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade, and to avoid travelling at the busiest times of day or consider working from home.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.