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  • Wessex Capacity Improvement Programme

  • WCIP Image

    The railway services to and from London Waterloo are some of Britain's busiest, providing more than half a million passenger journeys every day and more than 230million every year  an increase of more than 100 per cent in the last 20 years. London Waterloo is also Britain's busiest station, with over 99million passengers in the last year. We plan to invest over £800million to provide the biggest increase in capacity for decades.  

  • Over £800million investment to improve London’s busiest railway station and one of the UK’s busiest railways

    On 23 March 2016 the Department for Transport, Network Rail and South West  Trains unveiled investment plans that will see the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling to and from London Waterloo for decades.

    The investment will deliver: 

    • A bigger and better London Waterloo  including:
    • Rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal, allowing platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling and a layout suitable for thousands of domestic passengers. 
    • Extending platforms 1-4 to allow longer ten-car trains to run to London suburban stations. This work will take place during August 2017 and requires significant changes to the usual passenger timetable.
    • Creating a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse near platforms 20-24.
    • Fleet of brand new trains with improved facilities 
    • Extended platforms at ten stations allowing longer trains with room for more passengers
    • Power supply upgrade
    • Upgrades to maintenance facilities to handle the UK’s largest ever train fleet 

    This project represents the largest investment on this route in decades and will provide a significant increase in capacity for passengers on one of the UK’s busiest railways.

    Putting passengers first 

    During the majority of the planned works there will be no significant disruption to passengers while platforms and track are modified to enable the former International Terminal  to be re-opened for domestic services. This includes moving and rebuilding the platforms, replacing the track and signalling and changing the layout of the track on the approach to Waterloo.

    However, during August 2017 we need to temporarily close platforms 1-8 for 23 days so works can  take place to enable 10-carriage trains to run on the Reading and Windsor lines.  This work has been scheduled during the holiday period when passenger volumes are much lower. During this period platforms 20-24 will be temporarily re-opened to maximise the number of trains which can be operated.  However there will be significant disruption to passenger services during this period.

    In September 2017, platforms 1-8 will be reopened – allowing longer ten-car trains to run on the Suburban network for the first time.  This will also allow platforms 20-24 to be closed to allow the major building work to take place on the concourse and other passengers areas. This will create a new, modern and fully accessible station concourse. This is expected to be completed by December 2018 and will provide the biggest improvements to London Waterloo since the 1930s.

    The Department for Transport, Network Rail, South West Trains, Transport for London, Wessex Capacity Alliance and others are working closely to develop detailed travel advice and options for all passengers.

    This includes detailed modelling of passenger movements across the network, engagement with passenger groups and businesses to help develop effective messaging, extensive logistical planning to ensure staff and trains are in the right place at the right time, as well as learning from best practice of similar projects, such as Birmingham New Street and Nottingham Station.

    Later this year we will publish the detailed travel information and engage with passengers, businesses and stakeholders to help all make informed decisions about their travel options for August 2017.

    Timing of  works: 

    April 2016 - Waterloo International is closed for all train services including in times of disruption and becomes a dedicated construction site.

    February 2017 – Platform 20 handed back to Network Rail and train services reinstated.

    June/July 2017 – Platforms 21-24 handed back and works to prepare the former International Terminal for temporary use during August 2017.

    Summer 2017 – 10 weekends during the summer will see platforms closed at London Waterloo and services changed.

    August 2017 – 23 day closure of platforms 1-8  (Monday 7 August to Bank Holiday Monday 28 August inclusive) to extend Platforms 1-4 for 10-carriage trains. This will mean Platforms 1-8 and Waterloo South Sidings will be closed throughout. Platforms 20-24 to be temporarily used by passenger services during this period.

    Aug 2017 - Dec 2018 – After the former International Terminal has been in temporary use it will be closed to passengers again to allow the remaining station construction to take place.

    December 2017 - Timetable is changed and 10-carriage services start running from Platforms 1-4 on the suburban network during the morning and evening peak periods .

    December 2018 - Platforms 21-24 open and incorporated into December 2018 timetable with additional train services being provided.

    At peak times, a train is arriving or departing almost every minute and, with passenger numbers continuing to rise, we are starting work on a major programme of upgrade and improvement works that will help more people travel into and out of London Waterloo.

    Investment and improvements along the Wessex line will be funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Network Rail in partnership with South West Trains, Wessex Capacity Alliance (comprised of Network Rail, Colas Rail, Mott McDonald and Aecom) and Siemens.

    All these works, which are part of the £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan, are vital in delivering our strategy to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century. 

    Our priorities are:

    •     Creating a bigger and better London Waterloo

    •     Extending platforms at 10 stations – Ascot, Bracknell, Camberley, Chertsey, Egham, Feltham, Martins Heron, Sunningdale, Virginia Water, Wokingham – allowing longer trains with room for more passengers

    •     Fleet of brand new trains with improved facilities

    •     Power-supply upgrade

    •     Upgrades to maintenance facilities to handle Britain's largest ever train fleet


    The improvements to London Waterloo will include:

    •     Rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal to enable domestic services to run from platforms 20-24

    •     Extending platforms 1-4 to allow longer 10-car trains to run on London suburban lines for the first time

    •     New passenger concourse near platforms 20-24

    There will also be improvements to Surbiton and Vauxhall stations to improve access and increase capacity.


    The end result of the planned upgrade works will be:

    •     A 30 per cent increase in capacity during the morning and evening peaks

    •     Significantly improved passenger facilities

    A fleet of brand new trains, with improved facilities

    Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City Trains feature state-of-the-art technology to provide a light and airy, air-conditioned environment, better on-board train information systems and free passenger Wi-Fi. They also have ‘open gangways’ meaning passengers can both see through and walk the length of the train much more easily.

    There will be 150 new carriages – with the first entering service in mid-2017 – operating between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside.

    Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside will see this benefit, as will stations such as Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction. The full introduction will be delivered by mid-2018 and this will allow a ‘cascade’ of trains to other routes, increasing capacity across the network.

    New technology to improve punctuality and reduce impact on environment (£10m)

    •     GreenSpeed Driver Advisory System collects real time data to calculate exact speed of train to improve punctuality

    •     Potential to reduce impact on the environment by lowering energy consumption

    Introduction later this year

    This programme of investment is the biggest for decades and will provide a step-change in passenger capacity.

    In addition to the high-profile works at London Waterloo, a number of other projects are also taking place to provide more space for passengers.

    We have already extended platforms at more than 60 stations to be ready for longer trains. London Waterloo is the final piece of that work to allow longer, 10-car trains to run on suburban services for the first time in the busiest periods.

    We remain committed to further improving and expanding Clapham Junction and Wimbledon as soon as possible. Work is already under way to progress schemes and secure funding for these to deliver these schemes in Control Period 6 (2019-2024).

    These works will benefit all passengers by increasing capacity across the network through more carriages and extra station capacity.

    However, the immediate benefits will be more prevalent for passengers travelling to and from London suburban stations. This will include extending the maximum length of some trains from eight carriages to 10.

    In order to meet the rising demand of passenger numbers it is absolutely vital to deliver these major projects and increase capacity on the network.

  • Waterloo infographic