Southern shut down Victoria Station services for extra week

Southern has cancelled all trains to and from Victoria Station until mid-January, citing pandemic-related staff shortages as its reason.

No-go Govia: Southern has decided to close Victoria Station for another week at least, until Jan 10

This comes on top of the planned closures from Christmas Eve until Jan4 for engineering and signalling upgrades.

No Southern services will call at Victoria, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common until January 10 as the company struggles with a surge in covid cases among rail staff.

Gatwick Express services will be suspended altogether, with trains and crew used to support Southern services.

Victoria is one of the country’s busiest railway stations, seeing millions of commuters arrive and depart central London each week from destinations across south-east England and the south coast.

Southern are advising passengers from East Croydon and stations in the south of the borough to travel to Blackfriars and use the District Line Tube to continue their journeys into the West End.

No service: how Southern announced the closure of Victoria yesterday

For Clapham Junction there will be a limited service from West Croydon changing at Balham or to use the Tram to Wimbledon and use SW Railway trains (as long as passengers ensure their ticket is valid on the Tram).

Other services will be reduced and could finish earlier.

The disruption will go well into the second week of the New Year, and seems certain to cause inconvenience to Croydon residents seeking to return to their London workplaces after the Christmas break.

“We know this will be difficult for our customers and we are very sorry,” Southern operators Govia said in a note issued yesterday.

“This change is in response to a significant reduction in traincrew, service planning, controllers and other critical staff availability as the rise in coronavirus cases sees more staff needing to isolate. We understand how disappointing this news is, and our colleagues are working to find the best possible solution.”

Govia claim to be attempting to reduce unexpected cancellations (because expected cancellations into one of London’s biggest terminuses are so much more helpful for passengers, obviously), to “provide greater certainty over which trains will and will not run so customers can plan their journeys”.

They say that closure of Victoria is “the only option available”.

“Many Southern trains will remain on diversion, including to London Bridge,” they say.

And January 10 doesn’t look like being an immediate return to normal service, either. “Services will be progressively reintroduced from Monday January 10,” Govia say.

Train times have been updated at

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2 Responses to Southern shut down Victoria Station services for extra week

  1. It is just dramatic to see the UK’s premier commuter line shut. This underlines that we are in national crisis. Boris’ (Johnson’s) buffoonery should not distract from that realisation.

    The firestorm of this virus is clearly making a lot of people sick.

    I have not known previously of so many friends at the same time being unwell with the COVID.

    If there are fewer rail staff available through illness that also means that there are very likely fewer medical staff available too. Fewer hospital staff must be making coping with this wave very difficult at hospitals like Mayday. It’s not just high admissions numbers that could derail the NHS this winter. The NHS could falter on unwell staff numbers.

    I don’t drive and have never done so, so I am an avid bus & train user.

    But at the moment, I am walking everywhere to reduce exposure to such a fast moving virus. I know that others may not enjoy the discretion to do that. I am fortunate to be in that position.

    Anyway, the walking kind of makes the Borough and just over the border my travel limits. I guess I ought to repair a very heavy old bike I have. You can see why the government wants to get cycle lanes in quickly with no consultation (this does make some people angry, the lack of consultation) because some people’s lifestyles have changed to mainly local working but with a need to get around the area quickly without using a car. Maybe a partner is using the car for other needs.

    Here in Croydon, I am so glad that Labour has taken the lead on halting door to door canvassing for the 2022 Mayoral and local council elections. Canvassing door to door is currently – shall we say euphemistically ? – an anti-social activity.

    COVID will leave a permanent scar on British society. But there will be gains as well. People are more in their local communities. There’s more time to know your neighbour in a way when you couldn’t do that when the daily commute meant rushing for the bus in the dark of the morning and returning home in the dark too tired to stop by for a chat.

    Sense of community will rise and people will be more aware of how an unequal society leaves all more vulnerable to ill health.

  2. miapawz says:

    Southern have cut services to save money and maximise their take. They are on a contract not a franchise and it costs them money every time they use a train as they are all leased. Given that the DFT run the contract we should also be blaming the DFT and writing to our MP and saying this ++++show is not a service and do something about it. Rant over. I am a Southern ‘customer’ and I hate them. I’d rather drive to work but there’s no alternative than the (lack of) trains.

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