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Wonderful 20th Century Pictures of Waterloo Station

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Waterloo Station from Shell Tower- c. March 1964.

Waterloo Station from Shell Tower- c. March 1964.

There has been a station at Waterloo since July 1848 when London and South Western Railway extended their line from Nine Elms. It was initially named Waterloo Bridge Station after the nearby bridge. Nowadays, according to The Railway Magazine, it is Britain’s busiest railway station, although only the 91st busiest in the world (Japan has 82 of them!)

Passengers at Waterloo Station, London, 1962-1964. The crowded concourse. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Passengers at Waterloo Station, London, 1962-1964. The crowded concourse. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

1st March 1946: One of the Southern Railway's new tea trolleys in service at Waterloo Station, London. It carries enough hot water for 300 cups of tea, as well as having cake racks and ice cream cabinets. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1st March 1946: One of the Southern Railway’s new tea trolleys in service at Waterloo Station, London. It carries enough hot water for 300 cups of tea, as well as having cake racks and ice cream cabinets. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

In Jerome K Jerome’s 1889 comic novel, Three Men in a Boat, the protagonists spend some time in the station, trying to find their train to Kingston upon Thames. After being given contradictory information by every railway employee they speak to, they eventually bribe a train driver to take his train to their destination:

We got to Waterloo at eleven, and asked where the eleven-five started from. Of course nobody knew; nobody at Waterloo ever does know where a train is going to start from, or where a train when it does start is going to, or anything about it. The porter who took our things thought it would go from number two platform, while another porter, with whom he discussed the question, had heard a rumour that it would go from number one. The station-master, on the other hand, was convinced it would start from the local.

1911: London flower sellers near Waterloo station. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1911: London flower sellers near Waterloo station. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

25th May 1949: A restaurant car on a British railways train in Waterloo Station, London. (Photo by Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

25th May 1949: A restaurant car on a British railways train in Waterloo Station, London. (Photo by Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

Abba at Waterloo in 1974

Abba at Waterloo in 1974, the year they won the Eurovision Song Contest with a song of the same name.

Waterloo Station 1848-1948 poster

Southern Railway commemorating 100 years of Waterloo Station 1848-1948.

Waterloo Station in 1964

Waterloo Station in 1964

Waterloo Station 1947 b

Waterloo Station in 1947.

Waterloo Station Approach 1947 copy

Waterloo Station approach in 1947.

Waterloo Station 1973

1973 – warnings of parcel bombs left on trains by the IRA.

Waterloo Station 1925

Waterloo Station in 1925.

Waterloo Station 1922

Waterloo Station Approach in 1922.

A view over the Festival of Britain site, looking south towards Waterloo Station from the Shot Tower on the South Bank, London, May 1951. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A view over the Festival of Britain site, looking south towards Waterloo Station from the Shot Tower on the South Bank, London, May 1951. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1st June 1937: Customers drinking at the portable milk bar which travels the platforms at Waterloo Railway Station. It is the first of its kind on any station in Great Britain. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1st June 1937: Customers drinking at the portable milk bar which travels the platforms at Waterloo Railway Station. It is the first of its kind on any station in Great Britain. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

15th August 1928: The 1st Battalion Prince of Wales' Volunteers leaving Waterloo Station headed by the Guards Band, on their way to Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Crouch/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

15th August 1928: The 1st Battalion Prince of Wales’ Volunteers leaving Waterloo Station headed by the Guards Band, on their way to Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Crouch/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

17th April 1946: Easter holidaymakers waiting in line at Waterloo station, London, for the long distance train. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

17th April 1946: Easter holidaymakers waiting in line at Waterloo station, London, for the long distance train. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1936: Crowds at the Enquiry Desk in Waterloo Station, London. (Photo by Harry Shepherd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1936: Crowds at the Enquiry Desk in Waterloo Station, London. (Photo by Harry Shepherd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

27th June 1938: A corridor buffet car built for the new electric main line from London to Bognor Regis, Chichester and Littlehampton districts on show at Waterloo station, London. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

27th June 1938: A corridor buffet car built for the new electric main line from London to Bognor Regis, Chichester and Littlehampton districts on show at Waterloo station, London. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

15th May 1937: A group of female hikers wave goodbye outside Waterloo Station, London, before setting off on a walking holiday. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

15th May 1937: A group of female hikers wave goodbye outside Waterloo Station, London, before setting off on a walking holiday. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

21st January 1937: The British Wightman Cup team at Waterloo Station, London, on their way to New York. Left to right: Freda James, M Lumb, Kay Stammers, E M Dearman, Joan Ingram and Mary Hardwick. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

21st January 1937: The British Wightman Cup team at Waterloo Station, London, on their way to New York. Left to right: Freda James, M Lumb, Kay Stammers, E M Dearman, Joan Ingram and Mary Hardwick. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)