10th December 2018
The former international platforms at London Waterloo reopened this morning, more than a decade after Eurostar services left the station for their new home at St Pancras.
Part of an £800 million project to increase capacity on the South Western Railway network, passengers will now benefit from more space at Britain’s busiest railway station, with platforms 20-22 now in use for services to Reading, Windsor and south west London.
This follows work to extend platforms at Waterloo along with nine other stations in the area to allow longer trains to operate on the route. The remaining two platforms - 23 and 24 - are due to be pressed back into service in May 2019 when the next timetable change comes into effect.
The work means that the concourse will have more space by moving people away from the main area of the station, along with more ticket barriers to reduce queuing. New customer information screens will also mean customers can find information faster. There will also be more direct access to the London Underground for quicker connections in 2019.
Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail’s Wessex route, said:
“We are putting passengers at the heart of our approach to running the railway, and this incredible piece of engineering is all about giving better journeys to the many millions of people who travel on this route every year. Thousands of our engineers and track staff have worked tirelessly over the last three years, rebuilding this iconic terminal from the top to bottom. It has been an enormous job and I’m delighted to be reopening on time, helping us support economic growth by better connecting businesses and communities.”
Andy Mellors, managing director for South Western Railway, said:
“The reopening of platforms at the former Waterloo International Terminal means more flexibility for our train services and will help to improve punctuality, especially during peak times. Between now and May next year, we will be providing over 6,000 extra seats into our fleet to deliver more capacity for customers. This is in addition to the 15,000 extra seats already provided into and from Waterloo since the franchise began last summer.”
Author: Darren Porter
Image: Network Rail