General description

Describe Online

Lines Served

This is a major terminus serving routes to Exeter and Reading to the west, destinations in Hampshire to the south and many suburban services throughout Surrey.


The station is established on two levels, which we'll call the platform and low levels. The platform level includes the mainline concourse and all platforms, whilst the low level comprises the low level concourse at exit 2.

The Mainline Concourse

The mainline concourse is a D-shaped space with the straight (southwest) side running approximately northwest/southeast. The platforms, numbered 1 - 19 from southeast to northwest, leave from the southwest side. The curved side includes exits 1 to 6 going anti-clockwise from the southeast end, plus a range of retail outlets. The ticket office and travel information centre are between exits 3 and 4, whilst the exit to Waterloo East Station is between the Reef Bar and Burger King. The centre of the space contains more retail outlets with exit 7, to the Waterloo & City line opposite platforms 7 - 8 and the exit to the Underground station opposite platform 18.

There is level access from Station Approach Road into the mainline concourse via exit 1 and from Station Approach via exits 2 and 3. There is stairs, lift and escalator access into the mainline concourse via exit 2, escalator-only access via exit 4 and stairs-only access via exits 5, 6 and 7. There is stairs and escalator access between the Underground and mainline concourses.

The Platforms

The platforms are numbered 1 to 19 from southeast to northwest, with 1 to 18 sharing island platforms and platform 19 running along the current northwest side of the station. The former Eurostar section lies beside (northwest of) this, whilst track 1 runs along the southeast side of the station.

The platforms leave the concourse, leading southwest before curving left (south) beyond the station. Platforms 1 - 8, being on the inside of the curve, are shorter than the higher numbered ones. The longer platforms sometimes serve two trains.

Each island platform has a stairwell leading to the upper passage of the Waterloo & City Line. These are only open between 06:30 10:30 and 15:30 - 21:30 Monday - Friday. If you need the Waterloo & City Line outside these times, you can reach it via exit 2 or 7, see the Waterloo & City Line page for more details. The exits to the Waterloo & City Line are also signed to Northern and Bakerloo lines.

The access road, which used to enter the station via exit 3 and go through the concourse before running along platforms 11-12 has been removed, though a remnant of it can be found at the start of this platform, leading to the left luggage office.

Platforms 1 - 10 and 15 - 16 have a single entrance/exit. There are separate entrances/exits to platforms 11 and 12; the entrance to platform 12 is also signed as the entrance to platform 13. The normal entrance/exit to platforms 13 - 14 is also indicated as an exit from platform 12. The normal entrance to platforms 17 - 18 is also indicated as the entrance to platform 19, whilst the exit from platform 19 is also signed as the exit from platforms 17 - 18.

At most platforms, you go through an archway with gates that can close the platform. There was temporary scaffolding around some of these at the time of our survey. All platform entrances were staffed at the time of our survey.

The Low Level

The low level concourse has level access from Waterloo Road. This is generally a rectangular space with retail units jutting into the left-hand side as you enter the station. The route to the Jubilee Line is to your right, whilst the following features, from left to right, are in front of you:

The Waterloo & City Line

A passage runs southwest from exit 2, turning right then left before passing exit 7 then continuing past the arrival platform and crossing the tracks before turning right to routes to the departure platform and Underground concourse.

The Waterloo &: City Line can be accessed via steps from the low level concourse, via exit 7 (opposite platforms 7 - 8), or via the escalators or stairs to the Underground concourse (opposite platform 18). In addition, the direct route from each island platform is available during peak hours. See the Waterloo & City Line page for more details.


There is level access between the street and each level of the station. There is also lift access between the low and platform levels. There is no step-free access to the Waterloo & City Line from the mainline station. There is stairs and escalator access between the Underground and mainline concourses.

We therefore believe that the whole station is accessible to Guide Dog users, though the Waterloo & City Line is not accessible to wheelchairs.

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© 2008, Terry Robinson

This guide is sponsored by
London Underground Ltd.
to whom we extend our sincere thanks.