Saturday 16 December 2017

'Pleasantly surprised' London commuters enjoy faster trains and empty carriages amid Waterloo upgrade

A usually packed Monday morning commuter train into Waterloo Credit: Twitter/Christopher O'Dell
A usually packed Monday morning commuter train into Waterloo Credit: Twitter/Christopher O'Dell

Helena Horton

It was thought the Waterloo upgrade work would disrupt commuters and cause travel chaos as it went underway and almost half of the platforms at the UK's busiest train station closed for a major overhaul.

It may be a Bank Holiday Monday in Ireland but in the UK it's business as usual. Commuters in London had been expecting huge delays as one of the city's busiest stations, Waterloo, undergoes a major revamp.

However, those who managed to get a train on Monday morning found that unlike a usual weekday, they had their pick of seats in empty carriages.

For those who didn't live in places the trains weren't serving, their commutes were faster as their trains made less stops.

People took to social media to post their joy and relief about their 'best commute ever', assuming the rest of their fellow commuters had either gone on holiday, taken a different route or worked from home.

South West Trains have warned passengers at stations such as Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Woking and Guildford will be "exceptionally busy" as they will have fewer services running and customers could be forced to queue to get in.

Those travelling to London are asked to note which stations will be affected.

Seven stations in south west London will be closed during the works, according to Network Rail's website. They are:

  • Chessington North
  • Chessington South
  • Earlsfield
  • Malden Manor
  • Norbiton
  • Queenstown Road
  • Tolworth

And there will be fewer at a further six:

  • Clapham Junction
  • Surbiton
  • Woking
  • Putney
  • Kingston
  • Richmond

An average of 270,000 journeys are normally made to or from Waterloo every day.

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