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Waterloo Station

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo to reopen for use for domestic rail services. (213002)

The Department is working closely with Network Rail and Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT) to finalise the design and costs of the partial conversion of Waterloo International to accommodate some domestic services. Therefore some services, most likely on the routes to Windsor and Reading, could use platform 20 of Waterloo International from the timetable change date in December 2008.

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 to make all the platforms at Waterloo long enough to accommodate 10 car trains and to modify the junction layouts on the approaches to the station so that, ultimately, all the platforms at Waterloo, including those once used by Eurostar, can be used by 10-car domestic services. Such a scheme would allow the use of longer trains than currently use the short platforms and would result in a large increase in capacity on the South Western network.