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.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    To become step free the Waterloo and City Line needed step free access at both its stations . Work has been completed at Bank Station with the new entrance opened in Walbrook.

    Step free access at Waterloo awaits the coming into service of the lifts down to the orchestra pit with ‘step free to Waterloo and City Line ‘ signs installed but covered up until lifts open together with old link to the Underground booking hall which links to ramps down to Waterloo and City Line .

    This large empty area will no doubt fill with restaurants and shops in due course.

    • TomH says:

      Yes, my thoughts Melvyn, when I saw the breadth of those corridors ‘Exceptional retail opportunities’ I think they are called now, rather that being just ‘shops’.

  2. Melvyn says:

    The comment re step free access to Bakerloo and Northern Lines is interesting and it’s a pity previous Mayor Boris Johnson did not take the opportunity of the Shell Centre Development with an existing entrance to the tube to install lifts to Northern Line and a ramp or special disabled only lift up to northbound Bakerloo Line .

    In fact the southbound Bakerloo Line platform is already accessible but it’s TFL who have decided not to show this on their Step Free Map no doubt because their are no accessible stations beyond Waterloo Station but it’s still possible for those travelling from north of Waterloo to alight at Waterloo and use subway to Jubilee Line lift . While with only two stations beyond Waterloo before trains terminate and return north then wheelchair users could board at Waterloo travel to Elephant and Castle and then return north on same train !

    • ianvisits says:

      The planning decision for the Shell Centre was taken by Lambeth council, not the Mayor of London.

  3. Nigel Headley says:

    One wonders about the process of tunnelling under Waterloo station. As it is an artificial hill, is it just digging through dirt and rubble? No TBMs here I’d guess?!

  4. CityLover says:

    So this wasn’t open on Monday when I visited!?

    Is the long corridor (under the concourse) that used to link up with the other end of the W&C line open, it then leads down to the Waterloo Rd Jubilee entrance or up to the concourse area?

  5. Kat says:

    I read with interest about the potential for step-free access to the Waterloo & City line. As it is a little while since this was blog was published, can anyone tell me if it is now possible to get between Bank and Waterloo (and also in reverse) without having to use stairs? I am travelling to London soon and will be with a companion who experiences difficulty using the stairs so it would certainly be helpful if there were lifts available.

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