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Waterloo Station

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects the work on linking one of the former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo International to the main domestic Waterloo terminal to be completed; and how long after the completion date it will be before the first new train services are using the new platform 20 at Waterloo; (235670)

(2) how much it has cost in total to link the former Eurostar platform at Waterloo International to the domestic Waterloo terminal;

(3) what plans he has for bringing the remaining four Eurostar platforms at Waterloo International into use by domestic trains after the first of these platforms is linked to the domestic Waterloo terminal; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what the annual cost of maintaining the platforms at Waterloo International Terminal without any train services is expected to be; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what feasibility studies his Department has commissioned on the future of Waterloo Terminal and Waterloo International Terminal; when these are expected to report; whether they have been asked to look into a long-term option of a 24-platform station, with each platform capable of accommodating 12 car trains; and if he will make a statement;

(6) when he will announce a decision on new train services into Waterloo, following the decision to link one platform of the former Eurostar platforms to the main station; and if he will make a statement;

(7) how many extra trains per day into Waterloo will be made possible as a result of the decision to create a platform 20 from one of the former Eurostar platforms.

Works to convert platform 20 of Waterloo International for domestic usage will be completed by December 2008. This will provide the capability to operate domestic trains into this platform from this time. The Department for Transport has sought to engage with South West Trains to seek their agreement to operate train services into this platform. The cost of the works to link the former Eurostar platform at Waterloo International to the domestic Waterloo terminal is in the region of £2.9 million.

Beyond this, it is primarily the railway infrastructure on the approaches to Waterloo rather than the number of platforms that limits the number of trains that can use Waterloo station as a whole. Therefore, we are seeking to run longer trains rather than more trains. This is in accordance with the strategy set out in the White Paper "Delivering a Sustainable Railway" published in July 2007.

Network Rail are seeking to provide the necessary additional capacity on the South Western network by extending platforms at stations where required, and are currently taking forward detailed feasibility studies into making all the platforms at Waterloo long enough to accommodate 10 car trains. They will also need to modify the junction layouts on the approaches to the station. It also includes making full use of the remainder of the Waterloo International platforms.

Such a large and complex 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 to address crowding. The infrastructure works are planned to be completed by 2014. Additionally, for the longer term, Network Rail is also considering how to upgrade the station to accommodate 12-car rolling stock.

Discussions are under way with South West Trains to determine the scope, timing and cost of providing the additional rolling stock that will deliver our strategy. Any proposals made by South West Trains will be evaluated to contractualise the requirements. However, as you would expect, this is subject to concluding value for money negotiations with the train operator.

The platforms at Waterloo International are an integral part of the terminal building which is operated and managed by BRB (Residuary) Ltd. (BRBR) as a single site. As such it is not possible to accurately allocate the cost of the platforms on a stand alone basis. The total annual costs of managing the entire facility are in the order of £2.5 million. These costs are partially offset by rental income of approximately £340,000 per annum and BRBR are looking for further opportunities to generate income while the terminal is non-operational.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimates his Department has made of the number of passengers travelling into Waterloo in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, (f) 2015, (g) 2020, (h) 2025 and (i) 2030; and what the basis is for such estimates; (235677)

(2) what recent representations his Department has received from organisations in the rail industry on his forecasts for passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement;

(3) whether he plans to revise his forecasts of future passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement;

(4) if he will review the accuracy of the methodology and base figures used to forecast future passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement.

We have made a series of estimates of the overall volumes of passengers forecast to travel. The basis of these estimates is the Network Modelling Framework, a forecasting system that incorporates standard industry agreed demand forecasting methodology.

No representations have been received on the overall forecasts.

Forecasts of the overall volumes of arriving passengers at Waterloo during the morning peak were published as part of the HLOS. We have reviewed our forecasts for the CP4 period and concluded that no changes should be made to the extra peak demand to be accommodated by 2013-14. We will monitor actual outturn against forecasts over CP4.

The industry methodology used to forecast rail passenger demand is reviewed on a regular basis. The HLOS forecasts used a base year of 2004-05. There are no plans to revise these base figures.