Waterloo Station Retail Balcony

The rejuvenation of Waterloo station is part of Network Rail’s on-going programme of investment in key stations across the country to provide more space, reduce congestion and improve the facilities. 

Network Rail’s retail and commercial activities generate vital funds that are reinvested directly back into the railway, limiting costs to taxpayers. 

With over 100 million passenger entries and exits in 2016/17, Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station by passenger throughput and the 14th busiest passenger terminal in Europe. 

It has more platforms and a greater floor area than any other station in the United Kingdom. The station has 24 platforms and provides interchange between national rail, London Underground, taxi and bus services.

Waterloo Station Retail Balcony

The goal of the project was to enhance the passenger experience at Waterloo Station by improving the retail and food and beverage offering; by increasing the circulatory capacity of the main concourse; and by providing additional step-free access to Waterloo East.

The project constructed a balcony along almost the whole width of the concourse at the first-floor level. The project’s aims were to provide up to 18 new retail spaces and a champagne bar, reduce congestion on the concourse, and improve access to Waterloo East station by providing additional escalators leading to the high-level walkway between Waterloo and Waterloo East. Most retail and catering outlets have been removed from the concourse to increase circulation space on the main concourse. First-floor offices have been converted into replacement and additional retail and catering spaces.

Waterloo Station Retail Balcony

Network Rail is dedicated to improving the facilities, layout and retail experiences for millions of commuters nationwide through various station expansion projects within Britain’s major cities. The Waterloo Balcony is part of our wider retail strategy to create ‘destination’ stations for both rail passengers and non-travelling customers.

The balcony is part of a package of improvements at Waterloo to accommodate predicted passenger growth and to enhance the experience of passengers.

The key outputs of the project were:

  • provision of a 220m balcony - the longest at any British railway station - along almost the full width of the station
  • increased space on the concourse that was previously used by retail outlets, which has reduced crowding
  • provision of attractive high end retail, food and beverage facilities
  • provision of more seating on the concourse itself
  • increased retail income to Network Rail
  • provision of four new escalators to the balcony, along with a redesigned route for disabled passengers, making it easier for people to get to Waterloo East station from the main station.

Client: UK Department for Transport

Location: London, UK

Start date: 2011

End date: 2012

Duration: 12 months

Contract value: £25m

Services provided: Retail & commercial, station development including architectural conceptual planning, station planning