Tourist Information Guide

Waterloo Train Station in London, England

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The main entrance to London Waterloo train station
The main entrance to London Waterloo train station
Waterloo train station is a large and important London station and therefore it is worth getting to know a little about the ticketing, trains and services there prior to your trip. If you are arriving to the city from another part of the UK, there is a good chance, that you will be arriving into Waterloo station.

The station has something to offer film lovers. Remember that action scene in the train station in The Bourne Ultimatum movie? That was Waterloo station!

This page will provide you with details on services, including lockers, shops and toilets; location details, a link to a detailed page on a entertainment show that is also on at the station - The Railway Children; links to official websites so that you can find out the up-to-date information regarding the train times, routes and how to buy tickets.

Overview to London Waterloo train station

Waterloo station sits just south of the River Thames and is a main transport hub for London. The building is ornate and striking, with high ceilings and a glass roof. The main entrance to the station offers a sense of occasion - it is called the Victoria arch and is framed with statues and sculptures.

As you enter the station building you will see that it is a large open-plan space. The shops, ticket machines and booths and platforms are all on one floor. So it is an easy place to find your way around. You will be able to find out the train times on large screens that sit at the very centre of the station building - you will not be able to miss these, as there will be crowds of people standing and staring at the boards waiting for their train time to appear.

tip If you are feeling confused regarding where things are at the station or what time or platform your train is, you will find helpful staff at an information desk that sits in the centre of the station. Simply wait your turn (at peak hours or if there are any difficulties with the trains there might be a short queue) and then ask them whatever it is that you need to know.

If you are arriving into Waterloo at the start of your London holiday, you will be able to get from Waterloo station to other parts of London easily by using the Waterloo underground station.

A side entrance to Waterloo train station
A side entrance to Waterloo train station

Left luggage at the station

There are no lockers at Waterloo station. However there is a left luggage service. The service is offered by a company called Excess Baggage and the offices are located in between platforms 11 and 12. For more details on the prices, opening times and terms and conditions of the left luggage services, see the Official Excess Baggage Company Website.

The Railway Children show

Waterloo station was once the home of the Eurostar train service to Paris. This service has now moved to Kings Cross station. This left a space at Waterloo station and the opportunity to use it for something interesting. This opportunity was not wasted - the space is now home to a show for children called The Railway children. To find out more about what this show is about, how to get tickets and how much they cost, see our Guide to The Railway Children at Waterloo Station.

How to get to the underground from Waterloo train station

On arrival at Waterloo station you will be able to get from the main station to other parts of London quickly and easily by using the underground. Waterloo station has its own underground stop: Waterloo (Brown Line / Bakerloo Line and Grey Line / Jubilee Line and Black Line / Northern Line and Pink Line / City Line). The tube stop is linked to lots of different lines, ensuring that it is a simple journey to many other parts of town.

For further details on Waterloo underground station, see The Official Transport for London Website Guide to Waterloo Underground Station. If you need to get from the train station to the underground (also called 'tube') station, it is a quick and simple journey. On exiting the train station platform, head to the left hand side of the station building (if you have your back to the train platforms). You will find an escalator leading down into the underground station on your left hand side towards the far end of the station building. Once you reach the bottom of the escalator you will be in the tube station. Here you can buy your tube tickets and take an underground train to other parts of town.

Official website and train information

The trains that come in and out of Waterloo station are operated by a company called Network Rail. Network Rail has a useful website where you can find out in detail about the services, opening times, parking facilities, disabled services and transport links from Waterloo station. For this information, check out the Network Rail Guide to Waterloo Station.

If you want to find out specifically about train times and prices, it is best to contact a company called South West trains (they are affiliated with Network Rail and organise the trains coming in and out of Waterloo station). You can either look up the information online or give them a ring. For more information, see the South West Trains Official Website.

tip You do not need to book your tickets in advance to take a train from Waterloo station. Once you are at the station you will see that there are ticket machines located all around the station where you can buy a ticket speedily. However, if you are slightly unsure as to what ticket you need to buy, you will find ticket booths located opposite platforms 16 and 17 in the main station building. For more information on this, see the Network Rail official website - link above.

Location of the station

Waterloo train station is situated just south of the Thames River. To find out more about what there is to see and do in the Waterloo area (including information on shops, restaurants, bars and cinemas), see our Guide to London Waterloo.

Station services

Waterloo trains station is relatively large, ensuring it offers you a wide selection of facilities. For further details of the facilities available at the station, it is best to check the Network Rail official website - link above. However, here we have listed some of the most useful and important facilities:

  • Toilets (with a baby changing facility)
  • Left luggage (see above for more information)
  • Telephones
  • Photo booths
  • Car hire
  • Shops - including Marks and Spencer Simply Food (to do some food shopping), WH Smith (to buy papers, books, magazines and snacks), Accessorise (for jewellery and other accessories) and Boots (a pharmacy)
  • Eateries - including McDonalds, The Bagel Shop and other small places where you can buy sandwiches, pastries and other snacks.

Waterloo station offers a route in and out of the city and once you are at the station, you can easily catch a tube, taxi or bus to other parts of London. It can often be confusing, so if you are feeling overwhelmed or confused, head to one of the information desks or ticket booths and they will help you with your enquiries. If you are making a journey to or from Waterloo station, leave yourself enough time so that you will not be feeling stressed when you arrive at the station - with time on your hands everything should run smoothly and without stress.

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