171 automatic ticket barriers have now come into operation at Waterloo Station as part of a £20 million project.
Network Rail says that the installation of the gates will help to reduce the number of people who travel without tickets and will improve the aesthetics of the station environment by providing a view of the platform area from the concourse which has been concealed for years.
The gates – the largest suite of public transport ticket gates in Europe – came into operation last week and were completed in partnership with South West Trains. They are situated at the entrances to the mainline platforms and in the subway which connects the platforms with the London Underground station.
"Waterloo station is currently used by over 70 million people each year and is operating at close to capacity," explains Network Rail's Richard O'Brien.
"The installation of the ticket gates will help improve the overall passenger experience, in particular safety and movement around the station.
"The project team at Waterloo has done an outstanding job in delivering this complex piece of infrastructure. This is the first stage of a significant investment we will be making at Waterloo to provide the extra capacity passengers need and want."
The ticket barrier project, which has been on site since April 2008, is the result of over 200,000 man hours of work and more than £20 million of investment.
A number of retail units and redundant mechanical and electrical services were removed before the gates could be installed.
Work has also been under way at Waterloo to bring platform 20 – part of the disused Waterloo International Terminal – into domestic passenger use by creating new openings in the wall next to platform 19.
Any full-scale rebuild of the station would depend on the involvement of private developers which seems unlikely in the current economic climate.
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