Just under a decade after it closed to Eurostar trains, the former Waterloo International platforms come back into use this weekend.

But only for three weeks.

Closed in 2007 after the Eurostar moved to St Pancras, they have been dormant, save for the occasional stage play ever since. There are long term plans to bring them back into permanent use, but right now, a temporary opening is essential.

It’s all thanks to the August Blockade, which will see platforms 1-9 closed for extension works to allow longer trains to call at the station. The end result will be a 30% increase in capacity on the platforms, so that longer trains can call there.

To help cope with some of the lost platforms during the upgrade works, the old Waterloo International platforms — number 20 to 24 will come back into use, and over the past few weeks, new ticket gates have been installed.


This Saturday, for the first time in a decade, those platforms will see paying passengers catching trains.

The departure’s timetable for the rest of this Saturday (via Realtime Trains) is trains to Shepperton throughout the day from platform 20 at 17 and 47 minutes past the hour from 6:17am onwards.

Once the August Blockage is lifted, on 28th August, the former Eurostar platforms will go back to sleep until the end of next year, during which time more works are needed to bring the platforms, and the tracks leading to them into permanent use once more.


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  1. Michael Woods says:

    Actually the closures at Waterloo Main affect platforms 1-10, rather than 1-9 as it was found impossible to keep No. 10 open during the blockade. (See latest edition of Modern Railways for full details.) But as the client representative for Eurostar on the original Waterloo International project I am delighted to see my old station back in use again, albeit temporarily!

  2. Richard says:

    Didn’t they do a load of work a few years ago to make at least one of them available (although I don’t know it was ever used)


    • Liz B says:

      It was used for a while and then stopped as suddenly as it started.

    • Robert says:

      Yes, it was definitely used for a few Windsor Line services, with access from platform 19 via a few holes knocked in the wall. Walking where previously only international travellers trod enlivened the evening commute a little … though, admittedly, it doesn’t take much!

  3. Andrew Robinson says:

    Are SouthEastern using these platforms when some of their trains are diverted into Waterloo from 29 Aug to 01 Sep?

  4. David says:

    Yes Andrew. Southeastern are using the Linford Street curve (the flyover formerly used for Eurostar services from Waterloo to the South London lines) for a few services during the London Bridge blockade. I believe it’s just services from Dover / Ashford / Sevenoaks running via the lines through Denmark Hill then on to the curve. (There’s also a plan to use during the Xmas / New Year London Bridge blockade). Will be interesting to see Southeastern services at Waterloo. It might even be the first time since the old connection from Waterloo East to Waterloo was removed around 100 years ago ! (Others more knowledgeable will no doubt correct me)

  5. Andyp1972 says:

    If they can be reopened now, why do travellers then have to wait until the end of next year before they are brought into permanent use? Doesn’t make sense to me

  6. Mark says:

    The 0528 is an ECS (not in public use) http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/W38721/2017/08/05/advanced service.

    The 0501 from Kingston (arr 0536) is the first passenger service to use the platform.

  7. GT says:

    Read what Ian says?
    They will need to put in more extensive pointwork & signalling, so that all the re-used platforms can be used 24/7/364 for later, rather than the present half-way-house status, which is temporary

    • Steve62 says:

      The new trackwork and signalling are already installed. It’s the passenger facilities such as access to and from the old check-in/ticket hall plus direct access to the LU ticket hall that need work. I understand that P20 and 21 will remain open during this period.

    • H says:

      Platform 21 will be used by South Eastern from 29th August to 1st September. After 28th August only Platform 20 will be used for some Reading/Windsor line services.

  8. Ian Williams says:

    I think it is scandalous that these platforms have been unused for so long. It isn’t as if it came as a surprise that suddenly they were no longer needed for Eurostar. The builders should have been moved in the day Eurostar moved out. The Department for Transport even had a consultation on what to do with the unused platforms AFTER Eurostar had left. Duh! Terminal capacity at Waterloo has been the key constraint on train services on SWT for many years. It should have been part of the business case for building HS1.

    • Julian B says:

      The proposed Airtrack link from Waterloo to LHR T5 would have helped muddy the waters for a few years. That plan formally hit the buffers in 2010 when austerity became fashionable. And so a planning impasse ensued.

  9. Local Lad says:

    Didn’t the Eurostar people have a 21-year lease on those platforms which has just expired? Perhaps it could not be bought out.

  10. Melvyn says:

    I remember when Eurostars called there there was a seperate route with seperate booking office to and from the tube and I wonder if this route which would provide additional escalators to the tube might be brought back into service again ?

    I have noticed the old large lift from the existing concourse to the Eurostar check in has been removed so are their plans to install a new lift which would also improve access to existing underground booking hall .

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