TRAVELLERS wanting to go from Basingstoke to the London Marathon by rail on Sunday may have to use shuttle buses.

The South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance has confirmed that it will be running a fleet of special shuttle buses from Clapham Junction and Wimbledon to London Waterloo station, starting at 7am.

Essential engineering work just outside Waterloo will be taking place this Sunday as a result of which platforms 1-10 will be out of use until approximately 4pm, with a limited service operating to and from Waterloo before this time. Once the work has been completed, the normal planned Sunday service will operate with some trains being larger than usual.

The alliance says: “A normal train service will continue to operate on certain routes including Portsmouth to Waterloo (via Guildford or Fareham), Weymouth and Poole to Waterloo and Basingstoke and Alton to Waterloo.” Passengers are advised to check the website for full details of the service planned for Sunday.

On its website South West Trains says: “First Great Western services will accept South West Trains customer tickets via any reasonable route until 1700hrs. Interchange Stations on our network where you can get on First Great Western services include: Reading, Basingstoke (buses replace trains between Basingstoke and Reading on Sunday 21 April) and Windsor & Eton Riverside (7 minute walk to Windsor & Eton Central).”

Jake Kelly, Customer Service Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: "We appreciate the inconvenience for passengers that comes with scheduling work of this nature on the same day as the London Marathon.

"Unfortunately, there is never an ideal time. Even if the work could be delayed until the following weekend – which it can’t because of the real risk of the infrastructure failing – it would impact a sell-out rugby semi-final at Twickenham. It is also impossible to carry out this work between Monday and Friday – around 300,000 people use Waterloo station in both the morning and evening peaks each day.

"On a normal Sunday, around two-thirds fewer passengers travel than on any normal commuter weekday and even taking into account the additional number of passengers travelling for the London Marathon, we still expect to see significantly fewer passengers travelling than on any other weekday or any Saturday."

Full details of the shuttle services are available at Passengers are advised to check with National Rail Enquiries or South West Trains before travelling for the latest information. Customers can also get real time updates via the South West Trains twitter feed @SW_Trains. Travel advice for marathon participants and spectators can be found at