Waterloo & City Line Closed For "Urgent Repair"

By london_will Last edited 151 months ago
Waterloo & City Line Closed For "Urgent Repair"

The Waterloo & City line is to be closed for as long as five months from next April so that "urgent repair" work can be undertaken. "Travel hell" hardly begins to cover it; the odd little W&C line, known to its "fans" as "The Drain" relieves a terrific amount of pressure on the Underground system. If closed, the thousands of commuters pouring in from the southern suburbs and attempting to get to the Square Mile will have a miserable time. Their options are:

* Take the horribly overcrowded Northern (or Bakerloo) line to Embankment to join the even more horribly overcrowded District Line eastbound through to Mansion House, Cannon Street and Monument;

* Or, take the Jubbly eastbound to London Bridge and either change onto the Northern or walk across the bridge.

Either way, it's a pain compared to the Drain, and it will be a pain for Northern Line, District Line, and Jubilee Line passengers as well.

Hey ho. If it's urgent it's urgent and better disruption and overcrowding than a derailment or a cave-in or whatever. And we were warned. When passengers return in September 2006, there will be swish redecorated trains to look forward to, and the line's livery will be finally, after 107 years, fully integrated with the rest of the network.

What's that you say? What's the significance of "fully integrated"? Well, gentle commuter, whisper it: the Waterloo & City isn't really part of the Tube network. It's a bit of a curio. It takes British Rail rolling stock, and was officially part of the mainline rail network until very recently. It was built by the London & South Western Railway company as a sort of consolation prize after it missed its chance to build a great City terminus and had to settle for grubby Lambeth.

This makes it - in a wonderful piece of Bureaucratois from TFL - "physically isolated" from the rest of the network. The train carriages have to be physically lifted and lowered into the tunnel by a hoist at Waterloo. As recently as the 1970s it had its own tickets, barriers and staff; an independent fiefdom within the network. And now those times have truly reached their terminus.

Last Updated 27 September 2005


What a diddy of an article. I am quite a fan of Londonist's tube entries. Always so interesting. I consider myself a bit of a tube boffin, but knew not of the hoisting of the trains at Waterloo, nor the plan for a city terminus.

Keep the these kinds of articles rolling.


Shucks. Thanks Ryan. I'll never fathom why LU is so endlessly fascinating. But it is.

And we certainly aren't going to stop posting stuff like this.


Or of course, they could walk...

Eugene Rideout

Thanks, guys! This is brilliant stuff. (Actually, my wife comes from the Baylis Road area of "grubby Lambeth," so, yes, naturally, she cringed when I read her that gem.)

We live in Toronto now (since '61) although we visited London last spring (2006), and were on the main concourse of Waterloo station quite a number of times, we were totally unaware of the work going on around us in association with the WandCLine.

Used to take the Bakerloo Line nightly to Stanmore, either from Waterloo or Lambeth North, (last train, always, 12:11 a.m.) during mid-fifties. To tell you the truth, I don't ever remember seeing or hearing of a WandCLine. I seem to recall an Aldwych line. Perhaps it got renamed in the 45 years since we left.

Writing this has evoked many fond memories of the area.


Eugene Rideout