10 things you didn’t know about Waterloo station

10 things you didn’t know about Waterloo station

Published 12 July 2023 | Average read time
2 min read
Stories Infrastructure insights Station spotlights

London Waterloo turned 175 years old on July 11. How well do you know one of our busiest railway stations?

1. There were just 14 trains a day to and from the station when it opened in 1848.

2. 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.

3. Waterloo was the last London terminus to provide steam-powered services – the last steam train went to Bournemouth in 1967.

4. The main entrance, known as Victory Arch, is Grade II listed and commemorates rail staff who died in WWI. It’s made of Portland stone and bronze it depicts War and Peace, with Britannia holding the torch of liberty above.

5. Waterloo once had its own cinema near platform one. It opened in 1934 and closed in 1970.

6.  Waterloo provided the terminus of the London Necropolis Company – from 1854 the small station accommodated mourners and held funeral services before coffins were transported for burial at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey.

7. Waterloo was the railway’s gateway to the rest of Britain for many Windrush Generation between 1948 and 1962.

8. The station’s 100-year-old roof is getting a facelift to give you a lighter and brighter welcome to the capital. That means about 10,000 new glazed panels across 12,000 square metres of roof – an area almost twice the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium.

9. Waterloo remained largely unchanged until early 1990s when platforms 20 and 21 were demolished to make way for Waterloo International – the London home of Britain’s first rail link with continental Europe, the Eurostar. It was built on the old ‘Windsor line’ platforms to the east of the station.

10. A production of The Railway Children took place at Waterloo in 2011, staged on the tracks at the former Eurostar terminal.

Read more:

London Waterloo’s 175th birthday 

Improving London Waterloo station

Preserving railway history: five things saved by Network Rail