A Busy Festive Season At Putney Station

How was your journey in to work since the works?

For many weeks now, contractors working for Network Rail have been busy lengthening the platforms at stations between Waterloo and Windsor. The contract was due to be concluded by 31 December 2011. Strangely, virtually nothing seemed to be happening at Putney itself. But everything changed when train services ceased on Christmas Eve. A small army then moved in to make the station ready for trains of ten coaches, rather than the current maximum of eight coaches. Working 24 hours a day, it looked as if the job would be completed in time for normal services to resume on the morning of 3 January.

With no services on Christmas Day nor Boxing Day, initially work was focused on the island platform in the middle of the station: platforms two and three. This is the view from the Oxford Road bridge at lunchtime on Boxing Day. A permanent way train can be seen parked under the bridge at the end of platform four.

Taken from a slightly different angle, the track has been completely removed from platform two, in readiness to be skewed further away from platform one, prior to that platform being rebuilt a few days later. Platforms two and three are in the process of being lengthened in the direction of Waterloo.

On 28 December, a Saturday-type service was restored, using platforms one and four only. A class 455 approaches. This predominantly red-coloured unit was constructed almost 30 years ago by British Rail Engineering Limited, and has comparatively recently been refurbished. There are no current plans to lengthen this type of train.

The sign in front of the train says that “we plan to complete this work by December 2011”.

The new alignment of platform 2 on 28 December – somewhat narrower than before. A train of German-built class 450 units [predominantly blue] is at platform four in the background. These currently work the majority of services stopping at Putney. Some will probably be transferred elsewhere when the lengthened class 458 units are introduced in coming months.
On 28 December, piles of paving stones and other construction materials adorn platforms two and three. The two decorative rowing boats seem to have disappeared! (The boats are securely wrapped up and in safe storeage).
Construction materials lie piled at the west end of Putney station on 28 December. Another train of class 450 units heads towards Barnes.
An eight-coach train formed of two [predominantly white] class 458 units pull in to platform one on 28 December. In a press release dated 23 December, it was announced that each of these units would be lengthened by one coach. Built by Alston in Britain more than 10 years ago, they are currently some of the most reliable trains in the country. The extra coach will come from trains formerly operating services from Victoria to Gatwick airport. Night-time working on 28 December.
There were no services again on 1 and 2 January, whilst work was being done to lengthen platform one in the direction of Waterloo. This photograph was taken in mid-morning on 2 January, and it looked as if much work remained to be done in order for services to resume the following day.

images by James Dixon


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January 6, 2012