On a typical working day, more than 300,000 travellers pass through the central London hub that connects the capital with the south-west suburbs, Surrey, Hampshire and beyond.
But for the next three weeks, most stations on the South West Trains network will see the number of rush-hour trains more than halved.
They said ‘Avoid the station between 7.30 and 9am.’ “There’s a chance I’ll work from home, or change my working hours, or take an alternative route.” Some stations will be closed altogether during the peaks, including Earlsfield, serving a swathe of south-west London.
Passengers are being told to use the Underground instead. Southern says that some rush-hour trains from London Victoria to Gatwick and Brighton will not call at Clapham Junction, “to prevent overcrowding at the station”.
Transport for London is warning Tube users in south-west London to expect more crowding than normal as commuters switch from rail to the Underground.
Adam Bainbridge from Winchester said many more seats are needed on commuter rail services to Waterloo.
Tina Callaghan, who travels in from Wimbledon to her job in Canary Wharf, said: “It’s going to be a nightmare.Did you go to the gym, completely confuse yourself with the machines and feel totally out of place?Or did you hit up that Zumba class and hide embarrassed at the back feeling uncoordinated?The Windsor and Reading lines will lose a third of services.Clapham Junction, which handles more trains than any other station in Britain, will operate a queuing system, as will Wimbledon.But it is at full capacity, and the only way to increase the number of seats for travellers is to lengthen the trains.