£800 million boost for London’s busiest railway

Artist's impression of a revamped London Waterloo. NETWORK RAIL.

Investment topping £800 million will be spent over the next three years to improve travel to and from London Waterloo, Network Rail announced today (March 23). New trains and more station capacity will be introduced by 2019, increasing peak-time capacity by 30%.

Waterloo is Britain’s busiest station with 99 million users last year, and the number of passenger journeys on the South West route into the station has doubled in the past 20 years to 234 million per year. A further 40% growth is predicted by 2043.

Most improvements are being funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of Network Rail’s £40 billion Railway Upgrade Plan. Also included in the upgrade are 150 Class 707 vehicles ordered in 2014.

Planned work includes rebuilding Waterloo International with Platforms 20-24 back in use. Platforms 1-4 will be extended to accommodate ten-car trains. This will take place during August 2017, with significant changes to the timetable needed. A new station concourse will be built near the former international platforms. Enhancements will also be carried out at Vauxhall and Surbiton.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new carriages providing more space for passengers arriving at London Waterloo over the three-hour morning peak - this is in addition to the 108 extra carriages that have already been added since 2013.”

Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: “This is the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling to and from Waterloo for decades. It will provide passengers with a better station, extra seats and new trains.

“And let’s face it, this is not before time. Since 1996, the numbers of passengers on routes into Waterloo have more than doubled. And this increase is showing no sign of slowing down.

Stagecoach Rail Managing Director Tim Shoveller added: “This is the biggest programme of improvements for decades and will boost capacity during the busiest times of the day by 2019. It will also create the extra space and upgraded infrastructure needed to increase capacity for our longer-distance main line services in the near future.”

Siemens Rail Systems Managing Director Steve Scrimshaw said of the forthcoming Class 707 vehicles: “The new trains are lighter, more efficient and will significantly increase the amount of available seats for passengers.”

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  • David C S Bartlett - 25/03/2016 10:48

    After an amazing length of time, and considerable annual maintenance money, a scheme going in to action for the International Platforms. Feature is the length of Eurostar trains accommodated: unfortunately this is hardly used by 10-car Windsor trains - can this further asset be used?

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  • David C S Bartlett - 26/03/2016 16:25

    Waterloo International has stood empty and looking increasingly tatty at an enormous annual cost ; suddenly we are surprised at this scheme to bring it back in to use. My observation always was of its huge length being made for Eurostars, but is presently only to be used for 10-car Windsor line trains. This still leaves a considerable asset of its length unused.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 26/03/2016 17:28

    I think it's about time that the former Eurostar International terminal platforms needs to be reopened when the new Class 707's are to be built and are to be in service from mid 2017 and to use the former Eurostar terminal as South West Trains are becoming a 10-Car railway with Platforms 1-4 to be extended for 10-Car Suburban metro services.

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  • Melvyn - 28/03/2016 23:34

    While this announcement is welcolm there still needs to be an upgrade if the tube station with possibly reopening of the separate entrance built for Eurostar services and installation of lifts to make Bakerloo and Northern lines fully accessible . The only improvement at present seems to be the replacement of the fixed stairs with a middle escalator as part of Shell Centre development by Canary Wharf Group.. Surely an opportunity to install lift/s via this entrance as part of this development is being missed. In the longer term an upgrade similar to that at London Bridge upgrading all platforms and creating a lower concourse covering all platforms with lift/ escalator access is required .

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  • Melvyn - 31/03/2016 23:25

    I was in Waterloo yesterday and work to remove the temporary deck link to former Eurostar terminal was underway .

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