This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 28/07/2017.
This is why you should avoid Clapham Junction and Waterloo for the next month
Croydon rail commuters who travel via Clapham Junction or Waterloo are being urged to avoid the stations for the next month.
Network Rail has issued a plea for passengers using the two busy stations to either travel at different times of the day, or consider working from home when work starts on a major upgrade at Waterloo on August 5.
Platforms 1 to 10 will close at Waterloo from that date until August 28 so that engineers can extend them, enabling longer trains to run from the station.
As well as affecting South West Trains, Southern Rail has announced the works will mean a reduced number of services travelling northbound at Clapham Junction between 4pm and 8pm each day.
Southern says this will mostly affect fast trains from East Croydon to Clapham Junction that then go on to Victoria, while the slower trains that stop at more stations will not be affected.
Network Rail says that once the upgrade is finished, there will be more space for passengers aboard the longer trains.
Becky Lumlock, Network Rail’s route managing director, said the £800 million of work at Waterloo and elsewhere on routes to the south west is the largest upgrade in decades, and will increase capacity by 30%.
“That’s room for an extra 45,000 people each morning and afternoon – equivalent to more than the capacity of the O2 arena and Oval cricket ground combined,” she said.
“It will mean longer trains, more seats, more comfortable journeys for passengers and less traffic on Britain’s congested roads.”
Commuters who change at Clapham Junction have been warned that they may have to queue to both enter the station or to board connecting services.
Ms Lumlock added that the reason the upgrades are being done in August is because it is usually less busy.
“August is a quieter time on the railway but passengers should still expect severe disruption and delays as well as long queues at stations and heavy crowding,” she said.
“We have developed plans with South West Trains to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible but people should consider changing their normal journeys, working from home or taking their summer holidays if they can.
“We are closing as few platforms as possible and are doing this work as quickly as we can, but these works will be highly disruptive and will make it uncomfortable for passengers. I want to thank them in advance for their patience. This three-week upgrade will transform journeys for millions of people in the years ahead.”
Passengers can find detailed information on how their journeys are impacted at networkrail.co.uk/wswupgrade, or by searching Waterloo Upgrade.