London SE1 website team

Waterloo to lose direct link with Paris and Brussels

To mark its 10th anniversary Eurostar has floated a power car on a barge under Tower Bridge ... and announced the closure of Waterloo International in 2007.

Balloons were released as the barge passed through Tower Bridge

On Monday morning commuters crossing Tower Bridge were held up whilst the bridge was opened to allow the Terra Marique barge to pass through with a Eurostar locomotive decorated by artists Langlands and Bell. The same barge carried Concorde through the centre of London earlier this year.


Eurostar bosses may have been hoping that the stunt – delayed by a week due to the Berkshire train crash – may have distracted from the announcement that Waterloo International station will close in 2007 when the new rail link to St Pancras is completed. Eurostar had previously indicated that it would serve both stations.

The barge is moored alongside HMS Belfast

Waterloo international – designed by Nicholas Grimshaw – was completed in 1993 at a cost of 130 million. It is likely to be used by domestic train services in future.

Eurostar communications director Paul Charles said: “After conducting extensive research, we have concluded that the benefits of moving the whole of Eurostar's operation to St Pancras International substantially outweigh the need to operate a handful of services from Waterloo.

“This move will bring many new passengers for Eurostar from other parts of London and south-east England, the Midlands and Yorkshire and, additionally, benefit domestic commuters using Waterloo.”

There was a party on the Eurostar concourse at Waterloo on Sunday, with free birthday cake for every passenger. Kylie Minogue joined in the celebrations on her way to Paris.

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