Will the Waterloo & City line ever reopen?

choochootrain

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One of my neighbours, who is a Central line driver, has heard rumours that the Waterloo & City line may never reopen with the drivers redeployed to the Central line. Has anyone heard anymore about this?
 
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Lewlew

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The drivers are already Central line drivers based at Leytonstone. I believe they've been going down and running empty trains to keep their license
 

Djriley27

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I can't see it staying closed forever. When it does reopen I reckon it will be Monday to Friday with an reduced service for the first few weeks, if not months
 

Ianno87

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I can't see it staying closed forever. When it does reopen I reckon it will be Monday to Friday with an reduced service for the first few weeks, if not months
I can see a slow burn of office demand returning, when there will be political pressure to reopen (and TfL hopefully not haemorraging so much cash), even with a basic "one train in steam" timetable.
 

Busaholic

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I can see a slow burn of office demand returning, when there will be political pressure to reopen (and TfL hopefully not haemorraging so much cash), even with a basic "one train in steam" timetable.
I can't imagine it would be allowed to reopen with only one train working it: at least with two trains some sort of service could be maintained in the event of a driver not turning up or incident. A much earlier finish might be in order, as used to be the case. There is (or was!) a 521 electric bus between the two termini at 11 minute intervals until after midnight Mon-Fri, with very few passengers indeed even pre-Covid.
 

Djriley27

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Two trains will provide a 10 minute service which was the case for the last hour of operation each day. Even a 3 train service might be sufficient
 

Ianno87

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It would be extremely useful for filming, and depending on how well-placed the locations are at Bank and Waterloo, storage.
*But* you'd have the cost of maintaining an operational train down there if you wanted moving trains. And if you're doing that you might as well run it in service!

Unlike Aldwych and Charing Cross that are still accessible by trains that can be taken from the normal service fleet.
 

geoffk

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In 1934 the LPTB proposed that the Waterloo & City should have an intermediate station at Blackfriars (even though the line was operated by the Southern Railway). Clearly nothing came of it and I imagine it's even less likely now.
 

swt_passenger

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In 1934 the LPTB proposed that the Waterloo & City should have an intermediate station at Blackfriars (even though the line was operated by the Southern Railway). Clearly nothing came of it and I imagine it's even less likely now.
It’s impossible if modern curvature and level requirements have to be met. But in normal circumstances I expect there’d be no space on the trains...
 

DelW

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*But* you'd have the cost of maintaining an operational train down there if you wanted moving trains. And if you're doing that you might as well run it in service!

Unlike Aldwych and Charing Cross that are still accessible by trains that can be taken from the normal service fleet.
AIUI the Aldwych branch has a captive 1972 stock unit, retained solely for filming purposes.
 

philosopher

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Even if only 50% of the City workers return the drain will be needed and well frequented can't see it closing.
Obviously we do not know what will happen with commuting patterns in the future, however if say 50% do return then I can imagine the Jubilee Line and Northern Line will be very crowded if the Waterloo and City Line closes permanently. Last year, it was normal to wait for three or four trains before being able to board an eastbound Jubilee Line train at Waterloo during the AM peak.
 

Ianno87

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Of course, for the Waterloo & City, there is a maintenance depot on site. Thus saving as a filming location would not have that particular problem (many others, maybe, but not that one).
But you'd have to keep.the maintenance facility solely for that purpose, whereas Northfields has a 'day job' in maintenance of the Piccadilly line fleet.
 

DavidB

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Does anyone seriously believe that they would permanently close a tube line these days? It has to be very, very unlikely.
 
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It will not be closed for good. The escalator works currently taking place at bank will have some bearing on it being closed as well I imagine. To keep customer flow steady.
 

Tetchytyke

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It sounds like the sort of rumour where someone puts 2 and 2 together and gets 47,358.

I can't see it reopening soon, and when it does it'll be on a reduced timetable, perhaps back to the older weekday-only timetable. But it won't shut forever for the same reason it didn't in the 80s.
 

The Ham

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It sounds like the sort of rumour where someone puts 2 and 2 together and gets 47,358.

I can't see it reopening soon, and when it does it'll be on a reduced timetable, perhaps back to the older weekday-only timetable. But it won't shut forever for the same reason it didn't in the 80s.
Indeed, even if we assume that 25% of full time equivalent staff return to work that's still enough to run 6tph rather than 20tph and only be slightly quieter (1/4 of 20 being 5).

However, given that about 1/4 of staff would probably opt to return to work full time (lack of home space, Social reasons, etc) whilst the rest would likely be somewhere between 5% and 90% in the office then 25% is probably on the low side.

As such the total closure would be highly unlikely.

Anyway, even with a significant drop in workers the buildings would find a use, and so there would be other users of the line for other purposes. Yes it wouldn't be as intense, but would probably be enough to justify keeping it going.
 

gsnedders

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Looking further into the future, I'd be very unsurprised if the W&C became the first line on the LU to go driverless. It should be a relatively simple line to convert once the new stock is present and platform edge doors are viable.
 
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Looking further into the future, I'd be very unsurprised if the W&C became the first line on the LU to go driverless. It should be a relatively simple line to convert once the new stock is present and platform edge doors are viable.
I fail to see the cost-benefit of installing ATO, changing the fleet, adding platform edge doors and fighting the unions for such a short line, even if it is usually the second-most intensely used line in terms of passenger miles. Even if was just a test to see the viability of driverless (it isn't viable, nor incredibly useful), I seriously doubt it would happen.
 

gsnedders

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I fail to see the cost-benefit of installing ATO, changing the fleet, adding platform edge doors and fighting the unions for such a short line, even if it is usually the second-most intensely used line in terms of passenger miles. Even if was just a test to see the viability of driverless (it isn't viable, nor incredibly useful), I seriously doubt it would happen.
The fleet _is_ being changed (with the NTfL). I'm also surprised to see people claiming it isn't viable, when DTO is in operation in numerous places around the world. The W&C is in some ways the place that has the most to gain from DTO: with its short turnarounds during the peaks (hence the double-manning of trains!) you get larger financial gains, and with the short and crowded trains any space gained is a big advantage…
 

MikeWh

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A freedom of information request sheds some official light. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...ine?nocache=incoming-1632026#incoming-1632026
There is no timeframe at the moment for when the Waterloo and City Line
will be operating again. The expectation is that the line will reopen
however it will be a demand-led decision. We are closely monitoring the
demand forecast impact on the Jubilee and Northern Lines (as these are the
alternative routes from Waterloo to Bank) to inform us when it would be
prudent to restart. The Train Operators are also maintaining their route
knowledge and all assets are being maintained such that when the restart
decision is made, it could be implemented very swiftly.
 

Hadders

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Keeping the W&C line closed hardly encourages commuters to return to their desks in the City. I'm surprised the Government haven't required LUL to re-open it.
 

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