Delays hit Waterloo upgrade project

THE complex upgrade to extend London Waterloo station platforms Nos. 1 to 8 to accommodate 10-carriage trains was completed on time on August 29, but there were delays and cancellations after a problem was detected during the safety critical signalling testing phase.

A view across Waterloo from platform 1 with the platform extension work in progress. NETWORK RAIL

The delays ran into the afternoon as Britain’s busiest station returned to normal operation.

These changes will increase Waterloo’s capacity by 30%, and are part of an £800million upgrade plan being carried out on routes from Waterloo to the South West. Between August 4 and 24, more than 1,000 engineers and track-side staff worked shifts to build extensions on to platforms 1-4, and to modify platforms 5-8, ready for longer trains that will run from December 2017.

An added layer of difficulty was the change of franchisee from South West Trains to South Western Railway, so the formal launch of the franchise was delayed until September 4 – see separate story.

In the middle of the upgrade was a derailment that caused additional disruption when a
Class 456 EMU side-swiped a ballast hopper – see below.

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