London Waterloo 170th anniversary: Archive images show century and more of evolution at famous station

July 11, 2018
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As Network Rail marks the 170th anniversary of London Waterloo station, we’ve delved into the archives to find photographs going back more than a century.

From its beginnings as the six-platform Waterloo Bridge in July 1848 up to the £800m infrastructure and services investment currently taking place, the station has become a familiar port of call for many thousands of commuters and visitors to the capital from Surrey.

Ongoing redevelopment works involving the South Western Railway network include platform lengthening at Camberley, Chertsey, Egham, Sunningdale, Virginia Water and Wokingham stations.

Located in the London Borough of Lambeth, the present structure of Waterloo station took shape in 1922 – but how has it changed and how have its services developed over the past century and more?

View gallery

Work on the £800m Waterloo and South West upgrade started in April 2016 when Network Rail began redeveloping the former Eurostar international terminal for domestic services.

Described by Network Rail as the station’s “biggest upgrade since the 1930s”, it will involve bringing the former international platforms, 20-24, back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling, plus a modern, accessible concourse “meeting the needs of thousands of passengers”.

It is anticipated that these platforms “will be integrated with the main station and reopened for permanent use in December 2018”.

London Waterloo down the years

  • The first railway station on the site of the modern London Waterloo opened in 1848 as Waterloo Bridge. Run by the London South Western Railway (LSWR), it had six platforms and replaced an earlier terminus for the London Southampton Railway at Nine Elms.
  • Waterloo had its own station dedicated to the funeral industry – from 1854 it provided the terminus of the London Necropolis Company. The small, private station accommodated mourners and held funeral services before coffins were transported for burial at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking.
  • In the late 19th century, the LSWR embarked on an underground solution to take its line north directly to Bank. Construction began in 1894 and the line opened four years later. Waterloo joined the Bakerloo Line in 1906, the Northern Line in 1926 and the Jubilee Line in 1999.
  • The original station building was demolished in 1902 to make way for the expansion of Waterloo; its successor was destroyed during an air raid in 1941 and never rebuilt.
  • Large numbers of servicemen passed through the station during the First World War and volunteers ran a 24-hour free buffet under platform 12 to feed them. As a memorial to staff who died in the war, the London South Western Railway commissioned the Victory Arch, which today forms the main entrance to Waterloo station in York Road.
  • At the start of the Second World War, almost 5,000 children a day were evacuated from the capital to the countryside via Waterloo, while the station’s tunnels and arches underneath the platforms acted as shelters.
  • The station remained largely unchanged until the early 1990s when platforms 20 and 21 were demolished to make way for Waterloo International. Opened in 1994, this was the terminus for Eurostar services running through the new Channel Tunnel to the continent.
  • On completion of the new high speed line in 2007, Eurostar moved to St Pancras and the international platforms at Waterloo were closed.

Source: Network Rail

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/nostalgia/london-waterloo-archive-images-show-11091589


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