Network Rail starts roof renovations to brighten up Britain’s busiest station: Waterloo aerial

Wednesday 19 Apr 2023

Network Rail starts roof renovations to brighten up Britain’s busiest station

Region & Route:
| Southern: Wessex

London Waterloo’s 100-year-old station roof is being given a face-lift to provide a lighter and brighter welcome to the capital.

Passengers travelling to and from London Waterloo station will soon benefit from a lighter welcome to the capital.

Network Rail engineers have begun work on this two-year project to refurbish the 100-year-old station roof which overlooks the main concourse and was rebuilt just after the First World War in 1922.

Work is needed to replace the existing glazing and support structures which will bring the roof back to its former glory.

During this time a one-way system on Cab Road for taxis and delivery vans will be in place and customers may expect to see some scaffolding up in the station.

Approximately 10,000 new glazed panels will be installed across 12,000 square metres of roof – an area almost twice the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium. The panels will be made from a polycarbonate glazing material which is around 50% lighter in weight, reducing stress on the structure and future proofing it for decades to come.

A range of other work to improve the overall customer experience at the station is also being carried out where teams plan to make huge improvements to the station’s retail offering which will see new brands and food outlets coming to the station, as well as giving some existing shops a makeover.

Station teams have also listened to customer feedback and are adding additional sustainable wooden seats to keep people comfortable when waiting for trains which will add to the 480 seats, plus 120 seats on platforms.

Work also started earlier this year to refurbish the toilets, adding a gender-neutral facility as well as more female facilities to bring them in line with what is available for males, plus extra baby changing areas. 

This is part of the wider Improving London Waterloo station programme of work planned over the next few years.

Cem Davis, Network Rail’s London Waterloo station manager, said: “We really welcome the improvements being made at London Waterloo which is Britain’s busiest station.

“Customers will soon benefit from a lighter and brighter station making journeys more welcoming and pleasant. Work is also underway to improve the retail and food and drink offer, and the toilets are also in the middle of a large-scale refurbishment.

“There will be some changes to the station as we carry out the upgrades and our station team will be on hand to ensure customers’ station experience is as seamless as possible.”

Peter Williams, South Western Railway's customer and commercial director, said: “We’re delighted that SWR’s customers will soon be able enjoy the benefit of the improvements being made to Waterloo station. The refurbishment of the roof will mean that that the building will be lighter; and other works will provide more seating as well as improved customer information screens, better shopping and better opportunities for eating and drinking.

“Our colleagues at Network Rail will be carrying out these improvements with as little disruption to normal station working as possible and we look forward to welcoming customers to a brighter Waterloo.”

Notes to Editors

The roof refurbishment began this April and during this time a one-way system on Cab Road for taxis and delivery vans will be in place and customers may expect to see some scaffolding up in the station.

While the toilet refurbishment continues, alternative toilet facilities will be available at:

  • The Sidings - accessed via the staircase by platform 19 and via the lift opposite platform 24
  • Cab Road by station reception

To create space for the temporary toilets, some of the cycle storage facilities on Cab Road will temporarily be removed until summer 2023.

Contact information

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Tala Ghannam
Media Relations Manager (Campaigns) - National
Network Rail
07548 108907

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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