Curious about what Waterloo Station will look like when the hoardings come down? Network Rail have been giving lucky commuters a sneak peek into the future with a virtual VR experience.
The headsets, used for the first time today (15 February) at Waterloo Station, provide passengers with an immersive, 360-degree view of London Waterloo as it will be from December 2018, when the work to rebuild the former Waterloo International Terminal, and bring five platforms into regular commuter use, will be completed.
A huge £800 million investment will dramatically increase both the attractiveness and the capacity of the station, which is already one of the top 10 busiest stations in Europe. Network Rail and Southwest Trains are offering commuters a chance to get to grips with the change first. If you want to experience this for yourself, the VR kit will be on site in the station until August 2017.
To see a video of what the station will look like, have a look at this:
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “At the moment we’re working really hard to make sure passengers plan ahead for the changes to services this August, and bringing the five former international platforms back into use is a really exciting prospect and a huge step towards providing a better railway for the growing number of passengers at Waterloo. This is why we want to show passengers just what to expect, and the improvements that our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering.”
Christian Roth, managing director for South West Trains, added: “When fully operational, these platforms will provide 18 trains per hour during the busiest times of the day, providing thousands of extra seats and helping to increase overall capacity by 30%. We hope passengers enjoy the experience and get a clearer understanding of the work being carried out to improve their journeys.”
Platforms 20-24 will temporarily open between 5 and 28 August this year to mitigate against some of the loss of capacity caused by the closure of platforms 1-9. They will close again shortly after for further construction work to be carried out and are scheduled to be fully open and operational by December 2018.