London Waterloo Station

London Waterloo Station, is located in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is a railway station owned and operated by Network Rail and in in Travelcard Zone 1. In terms of numbers of passengers in and out, London Waterloo Station is the largest in Britain with about 88 million passengers a year passing through it. It also has the greatest number of platforms and the largest floor area than any other station in the United Kingdom. The complex that Waterloo is located in is one of the largest and busiest in Europe.

South West Trains Waterloo Station LondonWaterloo station is the endpoint for the railway lines in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, South West England, and the south western suburbs of London. Its traffic is mainly local and suburban, but there are express services to destinations further away from London, including Portsmouth, Bournemouth, and Southampton on the south coast. Waterloo was also the endpoint for Eurostar international trains from 1994 until 2007, when Eurostar transferred to platforms at St. Pancras.

London Waterloo Station original name was "Waterloo Bridge Station" when it was opened on July 11, 1848 by the London and South Western Railway. Its name changed to its current " London Waterloo Station" in 1886. Its main line was extended from Nine Elms railway station in the London district of Battersea. It had to be raised off of marshy ground by arches, and the whole thing was designed by William Tite with the original intention for it to be a through station with service to the City of London ( a smaller area within the greater London area).

As London Waterloo Station grew, it expanded. The original 1848 station was known as the " Central Station", and two other platforms were added; one for suburban lines called "Cyprus station" and another for trains on the Windsor line called the "Khartoum Station". Each of these stations, though they were technically within Waterloo station, had their own separate booking office, taxi stand, and street entrance. By 1889 there were sixteen platforms but only ten platform numbers and Waterloo station, understandably, was confusing and hard to navigate. Adding to the confusion were three separately owned and run underground stations nearby also named " Waterloo."

In 1899 a total remodel of the station was begun. The new station was constructed and opened in stages, with construction sporadically continuing through the First World War and the new station was finally completed and open in 1922. The main pedestrian entrance is called the Victory Arch and is a memorial to company staff killed in the two world wars.

In 1923, ownership of London Waterloo Station passed to Southern Railway and then in 1948 it passed to British Railways. British Rail was privatized and ownership and management went to Railtrack in 1994 and then to Network Rail in 2002.

Today London Waterloo Station has nineteen platforms in use and the trains are almost all operated by South West Trains. Waterloo station is also the endpoint for the proposed Heathrow Airtrack rail service going to London Heathrow Airport.


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