When Eurostar move from Waterloo to St Pancras in 2007, the vacated International station will be used by SWT trains.
Eurostar have announced that they will abandon Waterloo completely for St Pancras in 2007, when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link opens.
This will make the International station at Waterloo available for alternative uses. Network Rail's South West Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) sets out a plan to use the International station as part of a rolling programme of upgrades to the rest of the station.
The ultimate goal is a complete redevelopment of Waterloo, with all platforms extended to take at least ten-car trains, eventually doubling the throughput capacity of the station. Approach tracks would also be remodelled. The aim is to allow the operations of longer trains across the entire suburban network (beginning with ten cars and then increasing to twelve). Work would begin with the Windsor and Reading lines, which are the most crowded.
The International platforms are of limited use in the immediate future as the track layout means that trains accessing them would conflict with Windsor line services. However, the platforms will be used as part of the overall upgrade project. Whilst work is being carried out to extend platforms in the existing mainline station, the International platform will take displaced trains.
TfL's Rail 2025 strategy describes three phases of work:
Possibilities for use of Waterloo International
A report by Arup examined a variety of possible uses, all of which it concluded would be superior to redeveloping the station for non-rail use.
The main options highlighted were:
South West Trains
SWT would like to use the International platforms for trains on the Southampton mainline route. 15-car Siemens Desiro trains (over 350m long) would run from the International platforms. Waterloo would be remodelled, with Windsor Line services being moved into the current mainline platforms, and some platforms would be sacrificed in order to extend others.
The International station would be connected to the mainline (fast lines) via a new flyover north of Clapham Junction. A new platform would be built at Clapham Junction, on the site of the trainshed between the Windsor and fast lines.
Another new platform would be constructed for the mainline at Wimbledon, by sacrificing one of the four District line terminating platforms.
A report by Arup for the Department for Transport into the future of Waterloo International station after Eurostar vacates it in favour of St Pancras in 2007 has recommended that it be retained for rail use. The report highlights a wide number of possible rail uses for the station, including use by SWT Windsor or Main line trains, and use for diversions during the construction of Crossrail and Thameslink 2000. The report also considers the use of the North Pole Depot and the Eurostar train paths on the South Eastern network and the West London Line. The recommendation was welcomed by the LTUC.
A government-commissioned study will be considering the complete redevelopment of Waterloo International into shops, homes and offices as one of a number of proposals for the reuse of the terminal, which will be abandoned by Eurostar in 2009 in favour of their new high-speed terminal currently under construction at St Pancras. South West Trains and the London Transport Users' Committee are set to oppose such a plan, as they believe the vacated platforms could be used to drastically reduce overcrowding and delays on SWT's domestic routes.
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