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Waterloo station's new 220m balcony is open

17 July 2012

The new balcony which reduces congestion at the station in time for the London 2012 Games, also improves access to and from Waterloo East station, and the 10 new shops offer more choice for eating and shopping.


The new balcony – the longest at any British rail station – is part of our £25m improvements to transform the station and smooth the journey for some 300,000 passengers passing through each day. This has been achieved by installing escalators and repositioning shops previously located in the middle of the main concourse, onto the balcony.

With new escalators and lifts installed earlier in May 2012, Waterloo station now has step-free access to Waterloo East station.

Wide range of shops and eateries

The new balcony gives people a wider choice of places to eat and shop with an extra 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The new brands at the station are :

  • Yo! Sushi
  • Fat Face
  • Hotel Chocolat
  • Oliver Bonas
  • Links of London
  • Thomas Pink
  • Joules

Coming soon will be:

  • Italian eatery, Carluccio's
  • Kiehl’s
  • Benugo Sports Bar and Grill
  • Corney and Barrow’s new concept bar The Cabin

Once all the new shops are open, there will be 55,000 sq ft of shopping and eating across 38 stores.

More space, less congestion, better facilities

The rejuvenation of Waterloo station is part of our on-going programme of investment in key stations across the country to provide more space, reduce congestion and improve the facilities.

Profits invested back into the railway

Our retail and commercial activities generate vital funds that are reinvested directly back into the railway, limiting costs to taxpayers.

Creating 'destination' stations

David Biggs, our director of property comments: “We are dedicated to improving the facilities, layout and retail experiences for millions of commuters nationwide through various station expansion projects within Britain’s major cities. As with the new western concourse at King’s Cross station earlier this year, the Waterloo balcony work is 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.”

Meeting the demand for rail

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 90m 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 at Waterloo. 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.”

Easing congestion

London Waterloo has become an important gateway to some of the best cultural institutions the city has to offer – from the Old Vic and The National Theatre to Shakespeare’s Globe. And with an increased number of visitors expected for the summer holidays, this redevelopment will help ease congestion on the main concourse during this busy period.