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Eurostar: Waterloo Station

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will ensure that platforms 21 to 25 at Waterloo International continue to be available for trains after they are handed back by Eurostar. (180662)

It is primarily the railway infrastructure outside Waterloo that limits the number of trains that can use the station rather than the number of platforms. Therefore the need is to run longer trains rather than more trains. So we are planning a large scheme to make all the platforms long enough to accommodate 10 and 12 car trains and to modify the junction layout on the approaches to the station. Such a scheme would allow the use of up to 50 per cent. longer trains than currently use the short platforms and would result in a large increase in capacity. The scheme is likely to require the use of all five platforms at Waterloo International. The scheme also presents opportunities at Waterloo International to reconfigure the passenger circulation space and the interchange with other transport modes, and to better integrate the station into the surrounding area. Such an ambitious scheme requires very detailed planning to make the most of this unique opportunity.

In order to make the best use of the facility in the meantime, the Department is working closely with Network Rail and Stagecoach South Western Trains to finalise the design and costs of the partial conversion of Waterloo International to accommodate some domestic services. Therefore some services could use platform 20 of Waterloo International from the timetable change date in December 2008.