Wednesday 15 Feb 2017
Virtual station: Commuters get a glimpse of the new Waterloo station – before it’s even built
Network Rail and South West Trains are giving passengers an early glimpse of how the multi-million pound re-development of the former International Terminal at Waterloo will eventually look, by using virtual reality headsets (footage available for download).
The headsets, used for the first time today (15 February) at Waterloo, provide passengers with an immersive, 360-degree view of London Waterloo as it will be from December 2018, when the work to rebuild the former Waterloo International Terminal, and bring five platforms into regular commuter use, will be completed.
The new part of the station will be connected to the main station via a brand new bridge and concourse area, currently under construction. The work forms part of the huge £800 million investment to boost capacity at Waterloo by 30% by December 2018.
The virtual reality kit will continue to be used at a number of events with passengers, as well as stakeholders across the network as part of the wider campaign to ensure passengers are aware of the changes to their services this August.
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “At the moment we’re working really hard to make sure passengers plan ahead for the changes to services this August, and bringing the five former international platforms back into use is a really exciting prospect and a huge step towards providing a better railway for the growing number of passengers at Waterloo. This is why we want to show passengers just what to expect, and the improvements that our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering.”
Christian Roth, managing director for South West Trains, added: “When fully operational, these platforms will provide 18 trains per hour during the busiest times of the day, providing thousands of extra seats and helping to increase overall capacity by 30%. We hope passengers enjoy the experience and get a clearer understanding of the work being carried out to improve their journeys.”
Platforms 20-24 will temporarily open between 5 and 28 August this year to mitigate against some of the loss of capacity caused by the closure of platforms 1-9. They will close again shortly after for further construction work to be carried out and are scheduled to be fully open and operational by December 2018.
More information is available at networkrail.co.uk/wswupgrade.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A .MP4 version of the 360 degree VR footage from the headsets, produced by designers Aecom, is available for download and external use in the downloads section.
The Waterloo & South West Upgrade
This is the biggest investment in Waterloo for decades. It will provide a bigger and better London Waterloo and 30% more space for passengers during the morning and evenings. This will also allow us to provide more space for longer distance passengers in the near future.
At London Waterloo we are working to:
- Create a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse by rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal.
- Increase services by bringing platforms 20-24 back into permanent use and introducing modern facilities along with new track and signalling.
- Allow longer 10-carriage trains to run to London suburban stations by extending platforms 1-4.
Across the network, the Waterloo & South West Upgrade will bring:
- Longer platforms for longer trains, at a number of stations on the Reading line.
- 30 brand new trains, providing 150 extra carriages. The trains will run between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside, including the Hounslow Loop and Weybridge via Brentford, calling at many of the network’s busiest stations such as Clapham Junction, Vauxhall, Brentford and Twickenham.
- New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
- Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains.
During August, work will start to extend platforms 1-4, to allow longer 10-carriage trains to run on Suburban routes. Platforms have already been extended at more than 60 stations but London Waterloo is the final, and most complex, station which needs upgrading. Due to the layout of the track and the curve of the neighbouring platforms, to extend platforms 1-4, we also need to carry out the following works, which requires platforms 1-9 to be closed:
- Install new track on the approaches to platforms 1-8.
- Realign and rebuild the far ends of platforms 5-8.
- Provide access for the required machinery to carry out the works.
There will still be some further work to carry out after August 2017, but this will be restricted to weekends. When completed, longer 10-carriage trains will be able to serve suburban routes when the new timetable is introduced from December 2017.
Passengers can check how they will be affected by visiting southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade or by searching online for ‘Waterloo Upgrade’.
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 36,000 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.