Last Updated: 23 Mar 2016
Over £800million to improve the UK’s busiest railway station and one of the busiest railways
- Biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling to and from London Waterloo for decades
- Better station, extra seats and a fleet of new trains
- 30% increase in peak time passenger capacity by 2019
- Infrastructure investment includes longer platforms for longer trains
- Improved depots for this railway’s biggest ever fleet of trains
A programme of investment worth more than £800million over the next three years, which will increase capacity and improve over half-a-million daily journeys, has been officially launched today (23 March 2016) at London Waterloo.
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.
This is the biggest investment for decades and will provide a 30% increase in peak time capacity by 2019. It includes:
- A bigger and better London Waterloo station
- New fleet of Siemens built Class 707 trains
- Longer platforms at ten stations for longer trains on the Reading line
- Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains
- New technology to make trains more efficient and help improve punctuality
The majority of the station and infrastructure improvements are funded by the Department for Transport as part of Network Rail’s £40 billion Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers. Investment is also being made in a fleet of 150 new train carriages to create extra capacity for South West Trains passengers.
When these improvements are complete, more trains than ever will arrive and leave London Waterloo every hour during the busiest times of the day – providing more space and better journeys for hundreds of thousands of passengers every day. 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 improvements at London Waterloo will be complemented by enhancements at Vauxhall and Surbiton stations to increase capacity and improve passenger journeys.
London Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station and was used by over 99 million passengers last year. The investment between now and 2019 will:
- 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.
- Extend platforms 1-4 to allow longer ten-car trains to run to London suburban stations. This work will take place during August 2017 and requires significant changes to the usual passenger timetable.
- Create a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse near platforms 20-24.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“We are investing £40 billion in our nation’s railway infrastructure – 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.”
Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman, Network Rail 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 – 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, Managing Director, Stagecoach Rail, said:
“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.”
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director of Siemens Rail Systems, said:
“We are delighted to be part of the continued investment in the UK’s rail network and to be introducing a new fleet of 30, five car Siemens Desiro City Class 707 trains. The new trains are lighter, more energy efficient and will significantly increase the amount of available seats for passengers. The Class 707 will also improve the overall passenger experience offering free Wi-Fi, air conditioned coaches, full width gangways and wider doors to make it easier and quicker to get on and off the trains.”
Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains, said:
“As London’s population continues to grow, so do the travelling needs of passengers moving to, from and within the capital. Angel Trains is committed to investment in London’s rail network and providing value to customers. We are delighted to procure and lease a new fleet of Siemens-built Class 707s, offering increased capacity, air-conditioning, easier passenger access and on-board Wi-Fi.”
Breakdown of investment programme:
Creating a bigger and better London Waterloo
- Rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal, providing an extra five platforms (20-24)
- Extending Platforms 1-4 to allow ten-car trains to run on London suburban services for the first time in the busiest hours
- Also includes increasing capacity and improving passenger facilities at Surbiton and Vauxhall stations
Fleet of brand new trains, with improved facilities
- 150 carriages – with the first entering service in mid-2017. These will operate between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside.
- Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City Trains offer significantly improved passenger facilities including free WiFi, wider doors to make it easier to get on and off the train, air conditioning and improved passenger information
- Full introduction by middle of 2018 will allow a ‘cascade’ of trains to other routes, increasing capacity across the network
- Full rollout will take total number of carriages on the network to 1,599. Compared to just 1,022 in 1996
Upgrading trains to regenerate power when braking, reducing power consumption and reducing maintenance time
- Removal and replacement of the existing DC traction equipment, including the motors, on Class 455 units
- Replacement with modern three-phase AC traction equipment and solid state inverters with regenerative braking
- Reduces carbon emissions and expected to save £2 million per year in energy costs
Extending platforms at ten stations allowing longer trains with room for more passengers to run to Reading
- Requires platform extensions at ten stations.
- Martins Heron
- Virginia Water
- Improvements to the electricity supply, including new substations, will provide more power for longer trains
Upgrades to maintenance facilities to handle UK’s largest ever train fleet
- New workforce concept where operator and supplier bring skills together
- To provide berthing and maintenance for the network’s largest ever train fleet – depots and stabling are already being significantly upgraded
New technology to improve punctuality and reduce impact on environment
- GreenSpeed Driver Advisory System collects real time data to calculate exact speed of train to improve punctuality.
- Also has the potential to reduce impact on the environment by lowering energy consumption
Timeline of events at London Waterloo
Construction work starts in the former Waterloo International Terminal, with minimal disruption to passengers using the station and no service alterations.
Late summer / early autumn 2016:
Detailed information about the impact of the August 2017 major works will be released for passengers with full timetables and service information available
Platform 20 reopens for passenger services.
June – Aug 2017:
Weekend work, including some changes to weekend passenger services, to allow rail infrastructure to be installed.
Platforms 1-4 extended at London Waterloo. Due to the track layout, this will mean Platforms 1-8 will be closed for 23 days. Network Rail will reopen platforms 20-24 to help maintain passenger services but there will be significant changes to services. Detailed information on changes to services during this period will be advertised in advance to ensure passengers understand how this will affect their journeys.
Sept 2017 – Dec 2018:
Platforms 1-8 will reopen, with 21-24 closing to allow for the construction of the new passenger concourse and facilities.
New timetable introduced including use of all 24 platforms at London Waterloo