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Rail Waterloo International Re-use

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:

  1. Move "Windsor line" trains into Waterloo International platforms and lengthen trains from 8 to 10 or 12-car
  2. Lengthen platforms 1-5 in main Waterloo station to take 10/12-cars, and then lengthen inner-suburban trains to these lengths and use the remodelled platforms
  3. Build flyover from fast lines between Clapham Junction and Waterloo so fast trains can access Waterloo International; lengthen longer-distance trains from 10 to 15 cars

Possibilities for use of Waterloo International

Arup report

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:

  • Use by SWT Windsor line trains (and/or therefore Airtrack). These services currently run into the western side of Waterloo station and could therefore switch relatively easily to the International station, freeing up capacity for other services. However, Windsor line services might not make the best use of the long International platforms.
  • Use by SWT Main line services. These are the services which run longer distances to places like Southampton and Bournemouth, and considerable growth is projected for these services. If they could run into the vacated International platforms instead, they could be lengthened (to up to 15 coaches long), providing a significant increase in capacity. However, these services currently approach Waterloo in the middle of the six tracks, and therefore to reach the International platforms, an expensive (300m) flyover would be needed to the northeast of Clapham Junction.
  • Diversion for Crossrail or Thameslink 2000. With appropriate track works, the International station could be used to handle services diverted from either Paddington or London Bridge whilst works are underway on these two big rail projects. Diversions from Paddington would require other works at North Pole in west London, where the vacation of the Eurostar depot there could enable reconstruction of a direct link between the Great Western Main Line and the West London Line. However, diverted trains from Paddington would take an extra 20 minutes to reach Waterloo.
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.

News

(newest first)
Waterloo Int'l re-use report published
2005-10-14 19:45:24

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.

Redevelopment considered for Waterloo International
2005-04-06 12:10:19

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.

Links & Sources

  1. DfT: Alternative uses for Waterloo International - final report
  2. Network Rail: South West Main Line RUS
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