Frequently Asked Questions

When will confirmed and final timetables be ready? chevron-down

Final timetables for weekdays, excluding Friday 25 August, will be ready from May 2017

Weekday timetables (with the exception of Friday 25 August) remain the same throughout these works. So, if you wish to plan your journey for a weekday from 14 August onwards you can use the times for the first week.   

Timetables for weekends during August, and the Friday of the Bank Holiday weekend (25 August) will be published in the following weeks after this date.

We will continue to keep you updated.


Why are they not ready now? chevron-down

A full train timetable is a joint production between all who use the railway; including South West Trains, other passenger train operators, freight operators and Network Rail and is typically published 12 weeks in advance.

For these works, we appreciate passengers need more notice to effectively plan their journeys or decide whether to travel. Therefore, we have published draft train service information well ahead of the usual timescale. We believe this is the first time this has happened in the rail industry.

This information is available here and includes service frequencies and morning peak departure and arrival times into London Waterloo.  

While we would like to publish full timetables ahead of this time, this is one of the most intensively used railways in Europe and the production of the timetable for South West Trains services must be carried out in conjunction with all the others who also use the railway.

What is happening during the August Bank Holiday weekend? chevron-down

During the August Bank Holiday weekend (25-28 August inclusive) additional works will be taking place at London Waterloo meaning a further five platforms (platforms 1-14) will be closed. This is while final testing and works are carried out to allow the full and standard timetable to be reintroduced on Tuesday 29 August.

This will further reduce the number of trains we are able to run right across the network but the impact will be more significant closer to London.

More detailed information will be provided in due course but please keep this in mind if you are planning to travel during this time.

Will passengers receive compensation? chevron-down

We are currently working with the Department for Transport on this subject. As soon as further information is available we will inform passengers.

Which stations will be closed? chevron-down

Queenstown Road will be closed throughout this time, with no trains calling in either direction. Passengers are advised to use nearby alternative stations or use alternative transport, including local buses. For more information, please select Queenstown Road from the station drop down menu here:

Norbiton Station will be closed throughout this time, with no trains calling in either direction. Passengers are advised to use nearby alternative stations, such as Kingston, or use alternative transport, including local buses. For more information, please select Norbiton from the station drop down menu here:

Chessington line will be closed throughout this time with no trains calling at Chessington South, Chessington North, Tolworth or Malden Manor throughout this time. Rail replacement buses will run throughout this time, carrying passengers to Worcester Park for onwards journeys to London.

For more information, please select your station from the station drop down menu here:

Earlsfield Station will be closed, with no trains in either direction during the following times:

Weekday mornings until 10am Weekeday evenings between 16.30 and 19.30.

The station will be open, albeit with a reduced service at all other times, including weekends.

For more information, please select Earlsfield from the station drop down menu here:

Vauxhall will remain open, albeit with a reduced train service and some changes to calling patterns. Passengers using mainline and suburban services will not be able to leave the train at Vauxhall and should continue to Waterloo.

For more information, please select Vauxhall from the station drop down menu here:

If platforms 1-4 are being extended, why are you closing platforms 1-9? chevron-down

As you can see from the accompanying picture, platforms 1-4 (on the far right of the image) are significantly shorter than the neighbouring platforms. The neighbouring platforms also curve with the track on the approach to platforms 1-4.

Waterloo upgrade

As a result, in order to extend platforms 1-4, we must also carry out the following works

  • Install new track on the approaches to platforms 1-8
  • Realign and rebuild the far ends of platforms 5-8
  • Provide access for the required machinery to carry out the works

There will still be some further work to carry out after August 2017, but this will be restricted to weekends. When completed, longer 10-carriage trains will be able to serve suburban routes when the new timetable is introduced from December 2017. 

What are suburban stations? chevron-down

South West Trains serves over 200 stations across numerous counties from Surrey through to Dorset and Wiltshire.

Stations are typically categorised into three types;

  • Mainline
  • Windsor & Reading
  • Suburban.

The works taking place in August are to allow longer 10-carriage trains to serve suburban stations.

The map below provides a simplified example of these lines.


What will you do to manage passenger numbers at stations and on trains? chevron-down

The safety of our passengers is always and will continue to be our top priority.

As a result, there are occasions when we may temporarily change the way passengers enter or leave a station, or board trains in order to safely manage the numbers of passengers.

South West Trains has considerable experience of managing large numbers of passengers, whether that is for special events such as the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, events at Twickenham Stadium or racing at Ascot, as well as the lessons learned during the 2012 London Olympic Games. We will continue to use that experience next summer to help passengers travel during this time.

The plans and procedures for individual stations are constantly reviewed and updated and this will continue ahead of August 2017.

Will there be special measures put in place at stations? chevron-down

Our absolute priority is always the safety of our passengers and our people.

Therefore there will be queuing systems in place at some of our stations during August 2017. This is put in place to manage the number of people entering the station and waiting on platforms to stop these areas becoming overcrowded. It is safer for passengers to temporarily wait outside stations than allowing stations and platforms to become overcrowded.

We will have additional staff on hand at our stations to help customers and we will keep passengers informed of our plans for these stations before August 2017 to help everyone make informed decisions about their journeys.

Will longer trains be in service as soon as the August works are finished? chevron-down

There will be some further work required to allow longer trains to use platforms 1-4 at London Waterloo after the works in August have finished. These works will take place at weekends and more detailed information will be available closer to the time.

Longer 10-carriage trains on suburban routes will come into service with the start of the new timetable in December 2017.

Are you introducing new trains? chevron-down


We have a fleet of 30 brand new trains, providing 150 additional carriages for our network. The Siemens built Class 707 trains are due to start entering service in April 2017 with the roll out completed by the end of the year.

This will allow a ‘cascade’ of all other trains on the network, providing additional capacity.

The new trains can be seen here and will predominantly serve stations between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside.

Why are platforms 20-24 only opening temporarily in August 2017? chevron-down

The works taking place throughout 2016 and the first half of 2017 in the former Waterloo International Terminal (platforms 20-24) will make the track, signalling, platforms and passenger access suitable for tens of thousands of passengers to use every day.

The introduction of these platforms is vital to mitigate against the loss of platforms 1-9 while platforms 1-4 are extended.

After this, there will remain a great deal of work to be done to create a spacious and modern passenger concourse with new facilities.

The completed concourse near platforms 20-24 is expected to open in December 2018.

The terminal used to cater for very long Eurostar trains – why can’t you just reopen it now? chevron-down

The current layout of this part of the station is unsuitable for busy commuter services. Access for passengers would be inconvenient and frustrating and the punctuality of trains would be badly affected.

Passengers would need to take three flights of stairs before they could board a train or leave the station and unnecessary facilities such as passport control, bureau de change and waiting rooms are still in place, reducing the space available for passengers to move through the area.

The train access into the platforms is also impractical as trains leaving these platforms would prevent others leaving neighbouring platforms, reducing the number of trains able to run to and from Waterloo, particularly during the busiest times of the day. As a result, the works also involve installing new track and access as far as Queenstown Road station.

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