Wednesday 8 Mar 2017
Network Rail renews important sections of track at Waterloo to improve reliability
Network Rail has completed an important weekend of improvements at Waterloo this weekend (4/5 March) replacing vital sections of track to make the railway more resilient and more reliable as part of the enormous £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade.
Engineers worked around the clock to replace the switches and crossings, which allow trains to move between tracks, in one of Britain’s busiest sections of railway. This weekend’s £300,000 investment by Network Rail is just one part of a scheme to replace large sections of the switches and crossings at the country’s busiest station and will improve the reliability of the railway for passengers.
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The improvements we have made this weekend are all part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to make the railway in and out of Waterloo more reliable for the growing number of passengers that use it.
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out our improvements this weekend, and also ask that everyone checks before travelling while we continue our improvement works later this month.”
Work will continue over two further weekends in March – 18/19 and 25/26 March – when fewer services will run in and out of Waterloo. Queenstown Road will also close during these weekends. As a result, Network Rail is advising passengers to check their journeys at nationalrail.co.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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.
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 southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade or by searching online for ‘Waterloo Upgrade’.
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.