London Underground’s Waterloo & City line, which was suspended in late December due to a shortage of drivers is to resume partial service from next week.
The line shares staff with the Central line which uses the same trains, so staff had been diverted from the W&C line to work on the Central line to keep that line operational, as it’s far busier and needs as many drivers as possible. The line had only recently restored full weekday service in early November following partial resumption in June, as its drivers had spent most of the pandemic helping out on the Central line.
However, rising numbers of people having to isolate following positive Covid tests caused the two lines to have a driver shortage, and the W&C line was suspended again last month.
TfL has now confirmed that the line between Waterloo and Bank will reopen on Monday 10th January 2022, and that the service will operate between 6.07am and 10.13am and between 3.23pm and 7.11pm on weekdays only, offering a link during the main commuter hours. There will be no service on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Waterloo & City line had been expected to reopen imminently, as the Bank branch of the Northern line will close from Saturday 15th January until mid-May 2022. That will see more people diverted onto other lines, and to help with crowding issues, it was presumed that the Waterloo & City line would be reopened by then.
TfL has also confirmed that it expects that demand on other lines caused by the Northern line closure is unlikely to be so great as to cause problems if the W&C line remains closed during off-peak hours, but they will monitor the situation and will reinstate the off-peak service on the Waterloo & City line as soon as it is needed.
With regards to the Bank branch closure of the Northern line, to offset the closure, an enhanced service with a train at least every two minutes will run on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line in the peak hours. A temporary new bus route, the 733 from Oval into the City (Finsbury Square), will also be introduced on weekdays. It will run every 7-8 minutes to help affected customers reach their destinations.
Although the Waterloo & City line will be running, TfL expects Waterloo, Embankment, Tottenham Court Road, and London Bridge to be amongst the busiest during the closure, so customers may wish to seek alternative options to complete their journeys.
Updated: 6:25pm to add extra information from TfL regarding off-peak hours resumption of the W&C line.