London Waterloo remains Britain’s busiest station as £800 million upgrade continues: Waterloo International Terminal  (Artist's impression)

Tuesday 6 Dec 2016

London Waterloo remains Britain’s busiest station as £800 million upgrade continues

South East

New figures released this morning (Tuesday, 6 January) by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) reveal that London Waterloo remains Britain’s busiest station with annual passenger numbers reaching over 99 million in one year, as Network Rail and South West Trains continue their work to boost capacity at the station by 30%.

The total number of passenger journeys at London Waterloo, as measured by entries and exits, reached 99.1 million for 2015/16, while Clapham Junction has replaced Charing Cross in the Top 10 most used stations with 32.2 million entries and exits.

Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The new figures released today by the ORR demonstrate the extraordinary growth in the number of people using the railway and underline the need for the national Railway Upgrade Plan and the £800 million investment in the Waterloo & South West Upgrade.

“Passenger numbers are at their highest level since the Victorian era and are continuing to grow, so it is vital that we keep investing and deliver a better Wessex route.

“The £800 million investment is the biggest package of improvements for passengers using Waterloo for decades, and will provide: five additional platforms at Waterloo; longer platforms for longer trains between Waterloo and Reading; new trains between Waterloo and Windsor; and longer trains on London Suburban services.”

Christian Roth, managing director for South West Trains, said: "The continued rise in passengers using this railway, particularly at London Waterloo, shows just how important it is to increase capacity and improve the facilities for passengers as quickly as possible.

"The Waterloo & South West Upgrade will provide longer platforms, new trains and 30% more capacity for passengers, improving the journeys of tens of thousands of people every day."

A large chunk of the work to boost capacity at Waterloo will be delivered between 5-28 August 2017, when platforms 1-9 will close for three and a half weeks, while platforms 20-24 will temporarily re-open. Network Rail and South West Trains are asking passengers to get ahead of the changes early by checking



To view the full estimates of station usage dataset and accompanying report, see:


The methodology used to estimate usage at London stations has been improved for 2015-16, providing a better representation of how Londoners use the rail network. However this means that direct comparisons to previous year’s data are not valid. All data is for tickets purchased on the mainline railway network – London underground usage is not included.

The Waterloo & South West Upgrade

The £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade includes:

  • 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
  • 150 new carriages – with the first entering service in mid-2017 – between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside, offering free WiFi, wider doors, air conditioning and improved passenger information. Full introduction by end of 2017 will allow a ‘cascade’ of trains to other lines out of Waterloo, taking the total number of carriages on the network to 1,599 compared to just 1,022 in 1996.
  • Extending platforms at eight stations between Waterloo and Reading, as well as at Camberley and Chertsey, to accommodate longer trains

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Owen Johns
Media relations manager (Wessex route)
07710 959476

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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