Waterloo Station upgrade progressing

Yesterday was a visit to London. All went well. Train on time. Seat available. Journey to Waterloo quick and easy. That’s quite a change from years ago with the uncomfotable ‘slam door’ rolling stock.

As per usual I ventured up to the mezzanine floor at Waterloo Station to see the progress on the station upgrade.

The new platforms are now in use. The upgrade is not complete, as you can see from my photo. I did notice that there’ll be a new London Underground entrance in York Road.

A Waterloo Station upgrade report

The revised Waterloo South Western Railway timetable from December 2018 is predicated on the reopening of the old Eurostar International platforms – see HERE.

The work to bring those platforms into use has been part of my regular Waterloo Station photo reports of the ongoing work – see HERE for all the articles in descending date order.

My most recent article – HERE – surmised that the engineering works would not complete by December. I’ve not been to Waterloo station since. Therefore I’m relying on comments in the Back to the Future: (Re)lengthening and Shortening at Waterloo article in London Reconnections website.

These comments, the latest on December 11th, indicate that platforms 19, 20, 21, and 22 are in use, and that the new walkway is open, although there is ongoing work in the ‘orchestra pit’. My most recent photo opposite – click to expand..

Meanwhile, again reading in the superb London Reconnections website that the revised time table for additional, and longer trains will not apply before May 2019. There’ not mention of this fact in Network Rail websites that I can see. Apparently there is insufficent power to operate the trains. The situation is fully explained in A Good Spark is Getting Hard to Find: SWR and the December Timetable.

Waterloo Station upgrade inching towards completion

It states in Network Rail’s Waterloo Station Upgrade web page that the project extends from July 2017 to December 2018, and what they say about December 2018 is as follows,

Platforms 21–24 re-open permanently and will be included in the December 2018 timetable, with additional train services provided.

As, dear readers, you will know of my predilection of photographing the ongoing works at the station from the same vantage point on the upper concourse – see HERE if you’d like to see all my past articles on the work, which goes back to March 2016, a little earlier than Network Rail’s stated timings.

I took a photo of the works on Tuesday this week, and show it next to the one I took on November 26th. From my perspective, the work seems to be inching forward. Whether they’ll have completed all the work by the end of December, it looks to me most unlikely. [Click on images to expand – Nov 26th on left and Dec 4th on right.]

I’ll be amazed if Waterloo Station upgrade meets its deadline

Regular readers will know that I like to record the progress of the upgrade to Waterloo Station, and do so by posting a photo or two here from the same vantage point on the upper concourse at Waterloo Station.

This is from the Network Rail website on the Waterloo and South West upgrade says,

Work on the Waterloo and South West upgrade started in April 2016 when we began re-developing the former Waterloo International Terminal for domestic services. The project is expected to be complete by December 2018 and will provide the biggest package of improvements to London Waterloo since the 1930s.

I’ll be amazed if the date of December 2018 for completion is met. Take a look at the photo below, and make your judgement. To see my past articles and photos of the progress over the past few years, enter Waterloo into the search box in the top right hand corner, and they’ll be shown in date order – newest first. Click on images to expand.

Latest photos of Waterloo Station upgrade

Yesterday’s blog post warned about me posting photos from my visit to London.

To record the progress of the upgrade to Waterloo Station I take a photo or two from the same vantage point on the upper concourse at Waterloo Station.

This is from the Network Rail website on the Waterloo and South West upgrade says,

Work on the Waterloo and South West upgrade started in April 2016 when we began re-developing the former Waterloo International Terminal for domestic services. The project is expected to be complete by December 2018 and will provide the biggest package of improvements to London Waterloo since the 1930s.

That date of December 2018 to complete, to my eyes, looks ambitious. Click on images to expand.

Recent photos of Waterloo Station upgrade

Here’s the latest state of the Waterloo Station upgrade, with photos taken yesterday on a visit to London. Since December 2015 from almost the same vantage point on the upper concourse at Waterloo Station I’ve taken photos of the progress of the redevelopment of the former International Station into platforms 20 – 24 for domestic rail services.

Below the photos [click to enlarge] you can read, and link to, my previous article about the station upgrade,

Network Rail’s Wessex Improvement Plan states that the work on bringing the former International Station back into use will end in December 2018. From what I’ve seen in visits over the last few months this looks an impossibly tight target. The Rail Engineer website describes the extent of the work involved – mostly not obvious from my photo vantage point.

I’ve put my photos into a slide show, beginning in February 2017, and ending in August 2018.

The plans include a new concourse with three floors of retail and restaurants. The artists impression of the new concourse shows stairs down to the new concourse. I hope there’s an escalator, and lift planned in the work, because I can’t see it in the artists impression below, or in my photos.

Your intrepid reporter visits Waterloo Station to experience the predicted chaos

You, dear readers, will know of my occasional reports on the progress of changes at Waterloo Station. You can read them HERE, in descending date order.

The predicted chaos was nowhere to be seen when I journeyed there last Friday 11th August. Everything was running smoothly. The new platforms in the old International Station were accessed by a new gently rising wide ramp from the main station concourse. You can see the entrance to the ramp to the right of photo 2 in the group below. Comparison with the photos in my May 18th report shows the amount of construction work completed between then and now.

In my previous report of May 18th this year, I said that the deadline for opening the new platforms would be tight. That’s how it turned out. I spoke with a station manager, whom I saw dispensing free bottles of water next to the new platforms [see photo], and asked him about their meeting the deadline date. I asked, “how close, in days?”. He replied “close”. I pressed, “a matter of hours?”, he replied, “close”, and smiled not wanting to be drawn any further. Here are my photos,

 

How is the Waterloo station upgrade progressing?

When I travelled to Waterloo Station this week and viewed the ongoing work to create 5 new temporary platforms in the former Waterloo International Terminal, I wondered whether they’ll meet their target to have the new platforms ready for August 5th.

That’s only 11 weeks way, and there appears to be lots of work still to do. It’s only through the photos I’ve taken since last September that I’ve come to this conclusion – an erroneous view it may well be. I don’t like being negative, but can’t help thinking it a tight target. Here are a couple of my photos, on the left, from March 21st this year, and the second from May 15th. [click on photos to expand – also my February article this year has the links to Network Rail information on the upgrade]

 

Infrastructure Upgrades #1: Replacement of Albrighton Station Footbridge

What’s coming next is a little flurry of blog posts about upgrades to our national and local infrastructure.

Guess it won’t surprise readers that I’m beginning with a slightly offbeat start. In my teens and early twenties I lived in Albrighton in southern Shropshire. My bother and I caught an early train from Albrighton, me to go variously to Birmingham or Wolverhampton, and my brother to Smethwick. We lived 5 minutes or so from the railway station – and yes, we always left it late to catch the train, often having to make a dash over the footbridge.

On the lovely cast iron footbridge it said it was erected in 1883. It’s a pleasure to see that the station is being renovated and getting a new footbridge, courtesy of Network Rail, while retaining some of the original ironwork.

A bit more history before a couple of photos of the work, courtesy of  Wikipedia and © Copyright Jaggery for photo 2. The local train from Albrighton  to Wolverhampton was a diesel multiple unit where you could sit behind the driver, with only a glass partition between passenger and driver. Made journeys fun.

 

Photos of the progress in Waterloo Station platform upgrade

Travelling to London from this part of the world means arriving at Waterloo Station. The station is undergoing a significant upgrade, as announced in March 2016 by Network Rail, all part of the Wessex Capacity Improvement project. In the Network Rail announcement they stated that,

Work starts [in March 2016] to rebuild the former Waterloo International Terminal to allow platforms 20–24 back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling and a spacious, accessible concourse suitable for thousands of passengers.

Platforms 1–4 will be extended – with significant changes to the usual passenger timetable required during the work, which starts in August 2017 – to allow longer, 10-car trains to run to London suburban stations.

I’ve previously mentioned my pleasure at peering into holes on building sites, especially the one adjacent to Waterloo Station. Well, now I’ve another building development at Waterloo to observe, and that’s the conversion of the former Eurostar platforms back into use. Here are three photos taken in September, November and December, plus an artist’s drawing of the the finished platforms.