£800m Investment at Waterloo Station
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South West Trains and Network Rail have jointly announced a revamp of Waterloo Station which will involve a bigger and better premises, an improved journey experience, opening up the former Eurostar platforms and longer platforms for longer trains – describing it as “the biggest package of improvements for decades.”
For a lot of us in Winchester, Waterloo Station is the building we see most days on the daily commute. We eventually see it in some cases as we all know – simply because there just aren’t enough lines into the station, or platforms to accommodate the trains. How often have we crawled the last few miles between Clapham Junction and London Waterloo and been given that as an excuse over the PA system?
The deal is hoped to be able to provide a 30% increase in peak time passenger capacity by 2019. London Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station and the main station for one of the busiest railways in the country. The number of passenger journeys has more than doubled in the last 20 years to 234 million per year, and further growth of 40% by 2043 is forecast.
Investment is also being made in a fleet of 150 new train carriages to create extra capacity for South West Trains passengers.
These works will pave the way for improvements to longer distance routes into London Waterloo and long term digital railway systems required to meet the increasing demand for rail services projected.
The intention is to rebuild the former Waterloo International Terminal, allowing platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling and a layout suitable for thousands of domestic passengers. They will also create a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse near platforms 20-24.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says it’s part of the biggest upgrade since the Victorian times: “From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new train 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. These improvements will make journeys better for hard working commuters, in the capital and across Britain.”
£800m Investment in Waterloo Station – “Not Before Time”
Sir Peter Hendy is Chairman of Network Rail and has also welcomed the improvements: “Let’s face it, this is not before time. Since 1996, the numbers of passengers on routes into Waterloo have more than doubled – rising from 108 million passenger journeys a year to over 230 million. And this increase is showing no sign of slowing down.
“As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is investing £40 billion to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers across Britain. The plans announced today will create a bigger, better Waterloo and improve passengers’ journeys on our most congested part of Britain’s railway. They are a long way from being the complete answer to the peak time congestion on this packed commuter route, but they will make a big difference.”
Tim Shoveller is Managing Director of Stagecoach Rail: “We are proud to run one of the country’s busiest railways – providing half a million journeys every day – helping to support businesses, communities, families and friends travel across the south west of England.
“Since 1996 we have added more than 100 extra train services and 500 extra and vastly improved carriages for journeys to and from Britain’s busiest station, London Waterloo, but we know we need to do even more to provide more capacity and better facilities for our passengers.
“That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with our partners to introduce this package of investments and improvements. This is the biggest programme of improvements for decades and will boost capacity by 30% 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 mainline services in the near future too.
“We’re looking forward to introducing these improvements and we will keep our passengers up to speed with everything happening on the network in the coming months and years.”
Network Rail video – ‘Building Waterloo – The Facts’