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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 11 (January 1, 1939)


London'S main-line passenger termini, set in a ring around the City, have been immensely improved in recent years. Notwithstanding these betterments, however, there are times, notably at the height of the summer holiday season, when it is only with the greatest ingenuity that it is possible to handle the enormous traffic offering. It is, of course, impracticable to enlarge and rebuild all the metropolitan stations, but whenever opportunity offers an endeavour is made to extend the accommodation available, and to remodel the existing facilities to meet changing conditions. At the moment, good progress is being made with the modernisation of the Euston terminus of the L.M. & S. Company, while important electrification works are being carried out in the neighbourhood of the throbbing Liverpool Street terminus of the L. & N.E. line.

The honour of handling more trains than any other London station falls to Waterloo, on the Southern system, with a total of 1,424 passenger trains in and out daily. Liverpool Street, however, actually deals with the heaviest passenger traffic, some 209,000 people passing through each day. A recent official census of passengers and trains arriving at fourteen of the principal London termini on an ordinary weekday shows that 1,294,000 passengers use these gateways daily, and 4,217 trains arrive at their platforms every twenty-four hours. The problem of the morning and evening rush hour remains acute. At Waterloo, 24,300 people arrive in a single hour during the morning, and in the evening 22,800 passengers leave in the same period of time. At Liverpool Street, where the suburban traffic is exceptionally heavy, 32,900 passengers step out on to the platforms between 8.30 and 9.28 a.m., while between six and seven o'clock in the evening some 31,675 people depart.