Virtual station: Commuters get a glimpse of the new Waterloo station – before it’s even built: Passengers were given the opportunity to experience the new station at Waterloo in Virtual Reality (1)

Wednesday 15 Feb 2017

Virtual station: Commuters get a glimpse of the new Waterloo station – before it’s even built

Region & Route:
Southern: Wessex
| Southern

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




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.

August 2017

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 or by searching online for ‘Waterloo Upgrade’.

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

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.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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