Southwestern delays: Urgent repairs at Barnes cause commuter chaos at Waterloo


Urgent repair work that is being carried out on a bridge over the River Thames caused commuter chaos at London’s Waterloo Station on Thursday evening.

Repairs are being made at Barnes Bridge in Richmond - causing major disruptions to the South Western Railway (SWR) network, which are due to last until December 4.

Trains are unable to serve Barnes Bridge and Chiswick stations until further notice.

A statement on the rail firm’s website said: “Due to urgent repairs to a bridge between Barnes Bridge and Hounslow all lines are blocked.

“Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised.”

It added that while it hopes repairs will be completed on December 4, engineers are still carrying out a detailed assessment “and there is currently no definite date for the resumption of services, although it is likely to be sometime in early December”.

One commuter, whose journey home to Twickenham took an extra 20 minutes on Thursday, told the Standard: “I arrived at Waterloo at 4.30pm to find loads of people standing around looking at delayed train departure boards.

“Not what you want after a long day in the office. I managed to get on a train after a good 15 mins only to be told it’s bypassing certain stations.

“I’m used to train delays and understand them when emergency repairs are needed but still get frustrated by them. They cost me time and money.”

South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail announced the repair works on Tuesday, after engineers found a small number of defects underneath the 1900s Victorian, Grade II listed Barned Bridge which require repair.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “We’re extremely sorry for the major disruption this has caused to train services. The safety of our customers always takes priority.

“Engineers found that four out of the 86 large steel pins that are used to hold in place the structural girders, which support the railway tracks above were slightly damaged. Due to the location of the bridge which spans over the River Thames, this makes gaining access to replace the pins much more complex.

“We’re continuing to work closely with our train operating partners at SWR to produce a revised timetable to serve as many stations in the local area as possible.”

Hounslow Loop services (anti-clockwise) from London Waterloo via Hounslow and Twickenham are currently cancelled, while the clockwise services from London Waterloo are terminating at Hounslow.

More to follow.