Thursday 8 Dec 2016
Network Rail project manager advises passengers to check before they travel this Christmas
Maggie Eddy, a scheme project manager for Network Rail is asking passengers to check before they travel if they’re planning to use the trains this Christmas, as she’ll be joining hundreds of others in delivering £4.5 million of upgrades as part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade over Christmas.
Maggie, who has worked at Network Rail for four-and-a-half years, is the scheme project manager for the suburban 10-car programme, which will see longer, 10-car trains running on the suburban lines out of Waterloo, providing passengers with more space on trains.
Over the Christmas weekend, Maggie and her team will be on-site at Waterloo to create openings on platforms 1 & 2 and 3 & 4. These 15 metre long holes will eventually become extra staircases that will improve passenger flow through the station by providing extra access to London Underground services.
Maggie said: “Platforms 1-4 will be extended next August, but by installing the stairwells now it actually makes the construction work to extend the platforms easier. The holes will be safely covered once this initial work is complete, then once we have extended platforms 1-4 we’ll install the new staircases.
“This is an extremely important step in the overall project, because once longer trains are running into these platforms, we want to help all of those extra passengers get to their destinations as quickly as possible.
“Given the sheer scale of the work involved, we can only complete it when there are no passengers around, and Christmas gives us a great opportunity to carry out these enabling works while causing the minimum amount of disruption possible. We’ll be starting our work on Christmas Eve and the platforms will re-open to passengers on the morning of 27 December.
“I’ve not worked over Christmas before, but I actually look forward to being with the team over this special time of the year. It will be dark and cold but we’ll have a good atmosphere on site while we work on improving this station so many of us use every day.”
Services out of Waterloo will begin to wind down on the evening of 24 December, with Waterloo station closed by 8pm so passengers are advised to complete their journeys well in advance of this and as early as possible. Services return on the morning of 27 December and will operate an amended service until 3 January when all lines are expected to return to a normal service. In addition, South West Trains will be operating a number of late night services over New Year’s Eve.
Over Christmas, Network Rail is also improving the signalling and replacing sets of points (the equipment which allows trains to move between tracks) at Queenstown Road, as well as continuing demolition work in the former International Terminal as part of the plans to re-open the five former international platforms. In total, the equivalent of over 15,000 hours will go into completing the upgrades over Christmas.
Passengers can check their journeys in advance at nationalrail.co.uk/Christmas or southwesttrains.co.uk
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.