Another in my series of niche posts (although, to be fair, I rarely veer into mainstream posts…..). These are the former platforms at Waterloo Station which were used by Eurostar between 14 November 1994 and 13 November 2007, when the services were moved to St Pancras railway station. It was decided that St Pancras was a better long-term solution for Eurotunnel, as that’s the end (or beginning, depending where you’re going) of HS1, not too far from the end of HS2 which is at nearby Euston.
I’m glad to see the platforms back in use, as since December 2018 they have been used by South Western Railway. I’d noticed they were in use before, but hadn’t had a need to use them since they opened.
The platforms are on the left-hand side of the above aerial photo, with the cursor marking where I was standing to take the photos.
This is what the station looked like at the beginning of the twentieth century and it can be seen just how much land these buildings took up, and how much had been demolished to allow for their construction.
On that subject, and apologies it’s not very clear, but there’s the area at the end of the eighteenth century, with the cursor marking where Waterloo Station is today. It’s fair to say that this south river side of London has changed considerably over the last 200 years.
This additional section of Waterloo railway station was first opened at a cost £120 million to provide a connection for the London to France rail link which used the Channel Tunnel. There was an inaugural service on 6 May 1994 which carried HM the Queen and the then British Prime Minister John Major to a formal opening ceremony in Calais. Passengers got to use the platforms a few months later when all the official approvals had been granted.
It seemed a shame that this whole section of the station was closed off after 2007, with just some temporary usage when work was going on in the main part of the terminal. Here, they retain their open look and are now firmly back being used by the rail network. All spacious, with plenty of seating before the gatelines, still I think looking bright and modern.