Christmas chaos: Disrupted service at Waterloo could cause travel problems for thousands


The station is the busiest in the UK.


By Bilal Ahmad, George Jones and Joel Lamy

Christmas chaos may be on the way as closures are set to affect passengers travelling through London Waterloo station, as planned improvement work gets underway.

Between December 27-29, large parts of the station will be closed when work is carried out as part of a £1m scheme to upgrade 30-year-old infrastructure equipment which controls train movements.

Many services will be hit, including lines between Waterloo and Vauxhall, and some journeys will start or end at different destinations.

This would mean a connecting train is needed to get to Waterloo.

On Sunday December 29, ‘Kingston Loop’ services will be altered to run between Waterloo and Shepperton, via Wimbledon, with bus services running between Teddington and Richmond to connect with these trains.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach, who run South West Trains, said: “Over Christmas, we traditionally see around 50% fewer passengers than we carry at other times of the year, so this provides us with a good opportunity to carry out much needed improvement work.  

“We will continue running trains throughout the works with around half the normal level of trains available for passengers.  

“Some services will start and terminate at stations away from Waterloo and passengers may need to change trains to complete their journeys.”

South West Trains run nearly 1700 trains a day through Waterloo, which is the busiest station in the UK with 82m passengers a year according to the Transport for London website.

Passengers are strongly advised to check the timetable in advance of travel at, particularly those who travel after 11pm and before 5am as services not mentioned may also be affected.

Photo courtesy of jamespoulter, with thanks.

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