Major railway upgrades will mean weekend changes for passengers: Track renewal work will take place at Waterloo during two weekends in March 2017 (1)

Tuesday 28 Feb 2017

Major railway upgrades will mean weekend changes for passengers


Network Rail and South West Trains are advising passengers to Check Before You Travel as major track upgrades at Waterloo as part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, and improvement works elsewhere on the network, will significantly reduce the number of trains running during two weekends in March.

Network Rail’s £600,000 investment to replace key sections of track at Waterloo, taking place over the weekends of 4 & 5 March and 18 & 19 March, is part of the enormous £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade that will boost capacity by 30% and improve reliability on the railway in and out of Waterloo.

Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we’re carrying out essential work to make the railway more resilient and more reliable during two weekends in March.

“The improvements we are making now will provide a better railway for the growing number of passengers that use the network, but there will be some significant changes to services over these two weekends so I’d like to ask passengers to check their journeys in advance.”

Christian Roth, managing director for South West Trains, added: “These works are part of the major investment to increase capacity on this railway but they will mean changes to journeys for passengers. We would urge passengers to check ahead and plan their journey before leaving as many services will be affected while this improvement work is carried out.”

The railway at Waterloo includes one of the most heavily used sections of track in the country, and the switches and crossings – which allow trains to move between tracks and to access the correct platforms – are essential to the smooth running of the railway.

During both weekends, Network Rail’s orange army will be digging up and replacing five sets of switches and crossings, as part of work to make this crucial part of the railway more reliable. Some of the switches and crossings being replaced during the work will ensure that trains can access the former International Terminal, which Network Rail is currently rebuilding to provide an extra five platforms at Waterloo.

On Saturday 4 and 5 March, engineering works will be taking place in the following areas:

  • Between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction
  • Between Wimbledon and Surbiton (Saturday only)
  • Between Woking and Basingstoke
  • Between Feltham and Virginia Water (Sunday only)

Fewer services will operate between Waterloo and Clapham and buses will replace trains in the other areas while work is taking place. There will also be changes to planned services elsewhere on the network. As a result, passengers are advised to check their journeys at



This is the biggest investment in Waterloo for decades. It will provide a bigger and better London Waterloo and 30% more space for passengers during the morning and evenings. This will also allow us to provide more space for longer distance passengers in the near future.

At London Waterloo we are working to:

  • Create a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse by rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal.
  • Increase services by bringing platforms 20-24 back into permanent use and introducing modern facilities along with new track and signalling.
  • Allow longer 10-carriage trains to run to London suburban stations by extending platforms 1-4.

Across the network, the Waterloo & South West Upgrade will bring:

  • Longer platforms for longer trains, at a number of stations on the Reading line.
  • 30 brand new trains, providing 150 extra carriages. The trains will run between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside, including the Hounslow Loop and Weybridge via Brentford, calling at many of the network’s busiest stations such as Clapham Junction, Vauxhall, Brentford and Twickenham.
  • New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
  • Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains.

August 2017

During August, work will start to extend platforms 1-4, to allow longer 10-carriage trains to run on Suburban routes. Platforms have already been extended at more than 60 stations but London Waterloo is the final, and most complex, station which needs upgrading. Due to the layout of the track and the curve of the neighbouring platforms, to extend platforms 1-4, we also need to carry out the following works, which requires platforms 1-9 to be closed:

  • Install new track on the approaches to platforms 1-8.
  • Realign and rebuild the far ends of platforms 5-8.
  • Provide access for the required machinery to carry out the works.

There will still be some further work to carry out after August 2017, but this will be restricted to weekends. When completed, longer 10-carriage trains will be able to serve suburban routes when the new timetable is introduced from December 2017.

Passengers can check how they will be affected by visiting or by searching online for ‘Waterloo Upgrade’.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Owen Johns
Media relations manager (Wessex route)
07710 959476

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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