Travelers queue at Waterloo during the Tube strike (Source: Getty)
Regular travelers to Waterloo Station should brace themselves: Network Rail has just submitted its first planning application for upgrade works. If it's approved, the works will go on for a year from November.
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The works will include upgrades to the area around the station, as well as extensions to platforms 1-4 to allow longer trains to run. The station will also (finally) convert the former Waterloo International Eurostar terminal to allow domestic services, giving the station another five platforms.
If the application is approved, works will start in November this year, finishing at the end of 2016 - although Network Rail said "associated track and signalling works will continue until mid 2017".
Network Rail said the works are long overdue.
"The railway from London Waterloo is the UK’s busiest, carrying more than half a million passengers every day and more than 98m every year, an increase of more than 100 per cent in the last 20 years. London Waterloo is also the UK’s busiest station with almost 100m passengers a year and a train arriving or departing almost every minute during peak times.
"These works are a vital aspect of our strategy to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century."
A spokesperson for Network Rail added:
"“The first part of this project, which involves strengthening three bridges will not have any impact on passengers using London Waterloo.”