Waterloo International railway station

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Coordinates: 51°30′11″N 0°06′53″W / 51.502973°N 0.114809°W / 51.502973; -0.114809 (London Waterloo Railway Station)

Waterloo International
Eurostars at waterloo international.jpg
Place South Bank
Platforms 5 (1 in use)
1994 Station opened
2007 Station closed
Early 2014 Reopened
Late 2014 Partly merged into main station
Replaced by St Pancras International
Portal icon London Transport portal

Waterloo International station was the London terminus of the Eurostar international rail service from its opening on 14 November 1994 until 13 November 2007. It stands on the western side of Waterloo railway station, London. It was managed and branded separately from the mainline station. Its 5 platforms were numbered from 20 to 24 and, unlike the platforms at the main station, are long enough to accommodate trains of up to 20 coaches (total length 394 metres).

After the Class 458 and Class 460 fleet were merged by South West Trains and Porterbrook to form a new fleet of Class 458/5 trains, platform 20 came into use as part of the main station.


Designed by the architectural firm Grimshaw Architects with Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners (consultant Engineers) and Bovis Construction (as the main contractors).[1] It cost £120 million and was completed in May 1993, in time for the scheduled completion of the Channel Tunnel. Construction of the Tunnel was delayed however, and the station did not open until November 1994, when it won the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture as well as the Royal Institute of British Architects' Building of the Year award.[2]

Waterloo International has five platforms, numbered 20 to 24, one (20) taken from the mainline station, and four new ones, all covered by a 400 m long [1] glass and steel vault of 37 arches forming a prismatic structure, conceived by Anthony Hunt Associates. The five vaults are supported by a grid of cylindrical concrete columns that rise up from the carpark level, through the circulation levels to the platforms. A structural glass wall separates old Waterloo Station from the new.[1] A two-level reception area fronts the main station concourse. The curvature of the roof is steeper on the western side and here the trains pass close to the structure. The roof arches are made up of two dissimilar curved trusses, triangular in section, with compression booms of tubular steel (CFS) and tension booms of solid steel. Both compression and tension members are curved — structural engineer Anthony Hunt described the trusses as "banana shaped". Curved, tapering trusses were later used to great effect at Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield.[1]

The first Eurostar departure, on 14 November 1994, was formed of Eurostar units 373004/373003 [3] and the last service left at 18.12 GMT on 13 November 2007 for Brussels. From the next day Eurostar services used their new London terminus of St Pancras International.[4]

Mainline railways around the South Bank
Charing Cross London Underground
Hungerford Bridge across River Thames
South Western Main Line
To Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset
Waterloo London Underground London River Services
Waterloo East(for Southwark London Underground)
Blackfriars Road (1864-1868)
Thameslink Line
To Brighton, Sevenoaks and Sutton
Elephant & Castle London Underground
Blackfriars London Underground London River Services / City Thameslink
Thameslink Line
Blackfriars Bridge (1864-85)
Cannon Street London Underground
London Bridge London Underground London River Services
River Thames
Brighton and South Eastern Main Lines
To SE. London, Kent, Sussex and Surrey

Ownership of Waterloo International station passed to BRB (Residuary) Ltd.. Future use of all the Eurostar platforms is unclear.[5] Some reports had suggested that they might be used for shops,[6] but a parliamentary written answer of 4 June 2008 stated platform 20 was to be used by some South West Trains services from December 2008.[7] Network Rail has no immediate plans to use the other four former international platforms for domestic use [8] and the platforms have not been used since November 2007.[9]

In 2012 a new proposal for the future use of the station was made, namely that it becomes the London destination of all the UK's sleeper trains. This may become necessary as the phasing out of Mk2 vehicles and their replacement with Mk3 will make the trains too long for the platforms at Euston, and construction of HS2 will make the long sleeper dwell times at Euston untenable. If the Paddington sleepers were also diverted this would concentrate all sleeper services at Waterloo International, thus making use of the former Eurostar lounge facilities for sleeper passengers.[10]

All of the international platforms are going to be brought back into use as part of the refurbishment of the main station starting in Christmas 2013.[11]

The Railway Children[edit]

From 4 July 2010[12] to 2 January 2011[13] two of the disused platforms hosted theatrical performances of E. Nesbit's The Railway Children. The audience was seated either side of the actual railway track. The show includes the use of a steam engine, coupled to one of the original carriages from the 1970s film, being shunted in and out of the theatre area as required by a Class 08 shunter.

The performance moved to London after two sell-out and critically acclaimed summer runs at the National Railway Museum in York.[12]

See also[edit]


Eurostar route map
(before completion of High Speed 1)
0:00 Waterloo International
0:50 Ashford International
Channel Tunnel (0:21 transit)
1:15 Calais-Fréthun
1:40 Lille Europe
2:15 Brussels-South
2:35 Paris Gare du Nord
2:53 Marne la Vallée-Chessy(Disneyland Paris)
6:00 Avignon-Centre
6:47 Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains(ski)
7:19 Aime-La Plagne(ski: set down only)
7:37 Bourg-Saint-Maurice(ski)

Times shown are fastest timetabled journey from London Waterloo.

In film[edit]

  • The station is shown repeatedly in The Russian Dolls (Les Poupées russes), as the main character Xavier commutes frequently, by rail, between Paris and London.
  • In Mr Bean's Holiday, Mr Bean sets out on this holiday from Waterloo International.
  • In The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne arrives from Paris and steps out onto Waterloo International's Eurostar platforms. Further action takes place in the rest of Waterloo station.


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Disused Railways
Terminus   Eurostar   Ashford