A major section of the South Western Railway (SWR) network into London is going to be partially closed over the Christmas and New Year period.
The rail operator has confirmed that there will be a 10-day part-closure of the railway between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction spanning the festive holiday.
It is being done in order to renew the infrastructure between the two stations, and will also include the shutting of Vauxhall and Queenstown Road stations for the entire 10-day duration.
In a post on its website, SWR has said that the railway will have work done on it from Christmas Eve (December 24) until January 3 inclusive.
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The post to passengers says: “The ‘switches and crossings’ (moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another and allow them to cross paths) at Nine Elms Junction will be completely renewed as part of this project.
“This is a big job but it is vital to carry out at this time to ensure safe and reliable journeys for passengers for many decades to come.
“If we don’t upgrade now, it could lead to delays and crowding for South Western Railway passengers in future as trains would have to run at reduced speeds over parts of track into and out of Britain’s busiest railway station.”
Queuing systems will also be in place at Waterloo and Clapham Junction.
SWR has said that the work is needed to improve reliability and that the upgrades will have a “positive impact across the network”.
A decision was made to carry out the improvements over the festive holiday period as the rail operator says that, typically, the network is 50% quieter than usual.
The key dates for the partial closure of the railway line is as follows:
- Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24) – there will be an early shut down of SWR services
- Christmas Day (Friday, December 25) – no service will run
- Boxing Day (Saturday, December 26) – no service will run
- Sunday, December 27 to Sunday, January 3 inclusive – a significantly reduced service, with 12 trains per hour on the main line
- From approximately 11am on New Year’s Eve (Thursday, December 31) to approximately 11am on New Year’s Day (Friday, January 1) extra trains will run to Waterloo for passengers travelling for festivities
- A normal service will resume on Monday, January 4.
It comes after a similar part-closure of Guildford station over the Easter holiday for infrastructure works aimed at renewing sections and improving reliability.