Since Eurostar moved from Waterloo to St Pancras, the International platforms have lain mostly unused. This despite the fact that Waterloo is London’s busiest terminal with 98 million passengers in 2013/14 and a train arriving or departing virtually every minute during peak times and it could badly do with the extra capacity.

However, that will soon be put right as an agreement has been reached between the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, Skanska, Colas Rail, AECOM and Mott MacDonald to scope out plans to boost capacity at London Waterloo and other inner London stations. These detailed plans will then be submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation and Department for Transport.

The agreement aims to develop detailed plans, including the reopening the former Waterloo International Terminal to be used regularly by commuter services and lengthening Platforms 1-4 to allow 10-car services to run on suburban routes for the first time ever. The aim is to boost peak time capacity by 30 per cent by 2018.

Skanska’s James Richardson, speaking on behalf of the consortium of contractors, commented: “An investment of this size is excellent news for rail passengers in the region and, of course, an exciting opportunity for our alliance team. Working through a unique collaboration model, we will be able to combine and integrate the skills and expertise of a strong supply chain to deliver this challenging programme.”