Civils and stations

08.04.08

Tube Lines starts Waterloo upgrade

The second busiest station on the London Underground is to undergo major refurbishment work. Waterloo Tube station carries over 70m passengers every year and together with the rail station forms a key interchange and artery into and out of London. Tube Lines has been working on its station upgrade programme on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines since 2003. 49 of its Underground stations have already been refurbished and modernised in the last five years.

Detailed surveys, final design work and preparation work is being carried out between now and April when construction work will start. The initial works will be done in the few hours between midnight and the first Tube train in the morning, keeping disruption to a minimum. An upgraded Waterloo station will better meet the travelling needs of rapidly growing passenger numbers.

150,000m of new signalling and communications cable will be laid. New installations include 44 public help points, 1,300 speakers and more than 500 CCTV cameras. Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne character would relish the chance to evade being caught out. Sadly for him, the cameras will give absolute coverage of the entire station improving on the already good safety and security systems. Lighting systems will also be improved to enhance the travelling environment.

Once construction work starts the focus will include reducing the risk of water entering the station. Platform and staff areas will benefit from redecorated surfaces and finishes.

Working overnight, Tube Lines will have a large number of specialists and equipment to move in and set up safely and quickly. Just a few hours later and the site will have to be cleaned and exited before the first train comes into service.

These challenging time restrictions will be helped by some closures of parts of the station at weekends, all of which will be communicated well in advance at stations. Operatives will balance work on the upgrade with managing to keep some parts of the station open to passengers. Working straight through in eight hour shifts over a 56 hour weekend means that up to 350 operatives at a time will be able to work more efficiently and ensure the station will be upgraded on schedule.

The upgrade to Waterloo Tube station will be completed by May 2009.

Nick West, Tube Lines’ project manager for Waterloo station said:
“We’re keen to start in earnest at Waterloo station and know that it will be a tight twelve months. We’re working to tough deadlines on a complex and busy station. However, we will apply lessons learnt from upgrading the 49 stations now successfully completed. We will make sure that Waterloo will become an Underground station worthy of London as a world class city and host of the 2012 Olympics.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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