London Underground’s shuttle service between Waterloo and Bank stations has been closed since the pandemic started, but will reopen from Monday 21st June.

It will initially open only during the morning and evening rush hours.

There’s been increasing pressure to reopen the line as commuters return to the City, but the W&C line drivers have been seconded to help out on the Central line to cover for Covid related staff shortages and keep that busier line running. However, TfL expects passenger numbers to increase from 21st June, which is the date that most of the remaining Covid restrictions are expected to end, so that’s the date chosen to reopen the line.

The Waterloo & City line will not be fully restored though, operating a rush-hour service every five minutes Monday to Friday from 6am to 10am and then stopping until it reopens between 3:30pm to 7pm.

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The reopening of the Waterloo & City line on 21 June will be a step back towards normality for London, as people who have been working from home return to offices in the City.”

The line wasn’t totally silent during the closure though, as they took the opportunity to install a new equipment turntable at the Waterloo depot to assist with maintenance work.

The Waterloo and City line is also likely to get much busier later this year when the Northern line stops calling at Bank station for around 4 months as part of the Bank station upgrade project.

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5 comments
  1. James Miller says:

    I’ve missed the Drain.

    I live on the border of Islington and Hackney about halfway between Highbury & Islington and Dalston Junction stations.

    But I have three bus routes to and from Moorgate and Bank.

    So the Drain is my convenient link to Waterloo, where I often used to meet friends and family.

    In my view, it was a serious mistake to shut it.

    • ASLEF shrugged says:

      The drivers for the W&C are supplied by Leytonstone train crew depot, we’ve had a lot of drivers absent over the last year and as most of the offices in the City were shut it made obvious sense to prioritise the Central Line over the W&C.

      I worked “W&C” shifts yesterday and the day before, I ended up covering absences at Hainault and Loughton depots.

  2. Brummybill says:

    I’ve been wondering why the W&C has been closed and assumed that it was deemed to be high risk Covid wise for some reason rather than a staffing issue. It’s used by many people other than office workers in the City, so can’t see why it can’t open normally now rather than just at peak times.

    • JP says:

      If it opened with a normal service, it would be tantamount to TfL admitting that the reasons for which they shut it were not entirely true: tiny numbers of city workers and increased levels of driver illness.
      I look forward to travelling on it again to see if they’ve used the closure to clean it up and enhance the experience as many other businesses have. Won’t hold my breath though.

  3. Jack says:

    Looking forward to this line reopening. Though I’ll miss my morning ritual of walking from Waterloo to embankment and getting the district line to cannon street – has been a nice compromise.

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