The recently reopened platforms at the former Waterloo International have also seen a new route into the London Underground ticket hall.
Running from a set of escalators in the middle of the mainline platforms, they take you down into the old Waterloo International area, and through a wide sometimes slightly space-age space, into the London Underground.
On a busy Friday evening, hardly anyone was using the new route, giving the vast corridors an eerie emptiness that’s amplified by knowing just how busy the rest of the station is.
As part of the refurbishment, new lifts are being installed and are expected to come into action in the next month or so. They will stop at what’s known as ‘Orchestra Pit’ level and then London Underground main ticket hall level, linked by means of a corridor to what used to be the route from the arrivals hall to the ticket hall.
The area they come out in is next to the Waterloo and City line, although, with a slope down to the platforms, it’s not promoted as a step-free route.
Waterloo Station is already a maze of tunnels and corridors and has regained a set of tunnels that were closed when the Eurostar departed, and are now coming back into use. Just don’t use them to get to the Jubilee line, as that’s a very long walk.
TfL is also currently working with the developers of Elizabeth House next to Waterloo Station to investigate whether they are able to facilitate the installation of lifts to the Northern and/or Bakerloo lines.
However, there is no funding in the current TfL Business Plan for any new step-free access schemes.