Latest Rail News

18.07.12

Waterloo balcony open to reduce congestion

A new 220-metre balcony has opened atWaterloostation to reduce Olympic congestion. The £25m structure will improve access to Waterloo East and provide extra space for the 300,000 daily passengers who use the station.

The balcony has provided space for ten new shops, and additional outlets have been repositioned from the main concourse to free up room for passengers.

Escalators and lifts offer step-free access to Waterloo East. The £25m project is part of a wider investment by Network Rail in key stations to increase space and facilities for passengers.

David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, said: “We are dedicated to improving the facilities, layout and retail experiences for millions of commuters nationwide through various station expansion projects withinBritain’s major cities.

“The Waterloobalcony project forms part of our wider retail strategy to create ‘destination’ stations for both rail passengers and non-travelling customers. It also provides a crucial, sustainable source of income for the station, which can be reinvested directly into the rail network to continuously improve our services to passengers.”

Tim Shoveller, managing director of the Network Rail/South West Trains alliance said: “Waterloo, as many of our customers know, is a very busy station. We have over 90 million passengers passing through every year and there is 30% growth predicted by 2030. Our challenge is to deliver extra capacity so our passengers can get the rail services they rely on.

“We needed to find a radical solution to improve the space and facilities atWaterloo. The opening of the balcony, with the removal of retail units from the concourse, crucially reduces congestion while still providing the facilities expected at a modern station.

“Passengers will now find it easier to get to and from their trains. The next crucial stage is to extend the platforms so we can run longer trains with more capacity, to cater for the predicted growth in passenger numbers.”

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