The Anonymous Widower

Whither Waterloo?

After looking at Waterloo International, I sat in a train before it left for Clapham Junction and it got me thinking about the future of Waterloo station.

It is busy as this extract from the Wikipedia entry shows.

With over 94 million passenger entries and exits between April 2011 and March 2012, Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station by passenger usage. The Waterloo complex is the 15th busiest passenger terminal in Europe, and the 91st busiest railway station in the world. It has more platforms and a greater floor area than any other station in the United Kingdom (though Clapham Junction, just under 4 miles (6 km) down the line, has the largest number of trains).

This Google Map shows how big and hemmed in on all sides, the station complex is.

Waterloo Station

Waterloo Station

It certainly has its problems.

1. Waterloo Station Doesn’t Have Enough Capacity For Trains

South West Trains want to run ten-car trains and the platforms need to be lengthened. That project is in the pipeline, but little seems to be happening.

They also want to bring the other four Eurostar platforms into use. As these platforms were built for the very long Eurostar Class 373 ytrains, they are a complete mismatch for the typical trains that South West Trains typically run.

2. The Lines Into Waterloo Need Sorting

If you increase the trains using the station, you’ll need to increase the capacity on the lines leading into the station.

3. Waterloo Station Doesn’t Have Enough Passenger Facilities

$25million has been spent on creating a retail balcony with shops and restaurants.

But I think that even this is proving not to be sufficient at busy times!

4. The Underground And Waterloo And City Line Don’t Have Enough Capacity

Getting to Waterloo is not easy for people like me in East London and we’re not the only area of London, from where getting to Waterloo is difficult and often overcrowded.

There are two ways that Waterloo can go. Either you try and squeeze more and more trains and passengers into the existing sites or you reduce the number of both to fit the current facilities.

If Crossrail 2 is designed properly and built, it will have the following effects on Waterloo,

1. Reduce the number of trains needing to use Waterloo, by diverting trains and passengers into the tunnel at Wimbledon and then under Central London.

2. This will in turn, free up much-needed platform space and train paths.

3. As passengers will not be changing at Waterloo, but passing underneath on their way to Central London, the pressure will be taken off the station facilities.

If the Northern and Bakerloo Lines get some of proposed capacity increases, this will also take the pressure off Waterloo. But the one I’d improve would be the Waterloo and City Line and make it run 24/7.

There is also an unofficial proposal for Crossrail 3, which would link Waterloo and Euston via a tunnel.

Possibly! But let’s make full use of Thameslink, the East and West London Lines and Crossrail 2 first. I think that if we reorganise Old Oak Common and manage to get an extra track or two along the West London Line.

July 22, 2015 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

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