The old Eurostar platforms at London Waterloo are to be put back into use as part of £800M worth of improvements announced for the station.
Platform numbers 20 to 24 will be brought back into service, as well as platforms one to four being extended in order to allow 10-carriage trains.
The improvements aim to create 30% extra peak time passenger capacity by 2019. The funding will come via the Department for Transport.
The former Waterloo International Terminal is to be rebuilt for domestic use with modern facilities, new track and signalling. As this area is currently not in use, it won’t involve passenger disruption. Work starts this month.
Passengers will see the most upheaval during August 2017, when platforms one to four will be extended.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new train carriages providing more space for passengers arriving at London Waterloo over the three-hour morning peak – this is in addition to the 108 extra carriages that have already been added since 2013. These improvements will make journeys better for hard working commuters, in the capital and across Britain.”
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: “This is the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling to and from Waterloo for decades. It will provide passengers with a better station, extra seats and new trains.
“And let’s face it, this is not before time. Since 1996, the numbers of passengers on routes into Waterloo have more than doubled - rising from 108 million passenger journeys a year to over 230 million. And this increase is showing no sign of slowing down.
“As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is investing £40 billion to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers across Britain. The plans announced today will create a bigger, better Waterloo and improve passengers’ journeys on our most congested part of Britain’s railway. They are a long way from being the complete answer to the peak time congestion on this packed commuter route, but they will make a big difference.”
The work will also require platform extensions at ten other stations: Ascot, Bracknell, Camberley, Chertsey, Egham, Feltham, Martins Heron, Sunningdale, Virginia Water and Wokingham.