The new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras is great, and indeed I’m a big fan of Eurostar overall. But what about the old terminal at Waterloo, vacated by Eurostar in November 2007? I passed it for the first time today (en route to Sunningdale with South West Trains) and things look really shabby. It seems no work is going on to turn the 5 old Eurostar platforms into something that can be used for domestic services, and in the meantime everything looks rather drab and run down.
Apparently from the end of 2008 some domestic services will run from one of the Eurostar platforms (platform 20, nearest the main railway station), but it will take until 2012 until all the platforms are in use. What a complete mess! Everyone has known the timetable for Eurostar to vacate Waterloo for years and years, and how the hell as the Department for Transport not worked out a complete plan for what to do with the platforms? A delay due to building I can understand, but a delay to inaction? In one of London’s busiest stations? Absolute madness, and something that only the UK would be capable of. More aghast views here from the SE1 Forum, and in this article in The Telegraph.
Classic British ‘planning’. They build the tunnel, once that’s done, they think about building the high speed link. Now that’s done and it’s moved to St Pancras, they start thinking about what to do with Waterloo. No thinking ahead.