London Waterloo’s 170th birthday celebrated in style

London Waterloo 170th
Credit: South Western Railway

Network Rail and South Western Railway have got together to celebrate London Waterloo’s 170th birthday on Wednesday 11th July 2018. Passengers enjoyed giveaways, brass bands, and even a choir.

Don Buckley, 79, was the star of the show. Don is a South Western Railway employee and is believed to be the longest-serving member of railway staff in the railway industry. He joined the railways in 1953, aged just 14.

At London Waterloo, Don helps the visually impaired and disabled people to make sure they get around the station.

London Waterloo was the last London terminus to provide steam-powered train services, the last train went to Bournemouth in 1967. The main entrance is a Grade II listed building and there is 28 escalators in the station, more than any other station.

What did the officials say?

Don said:

“We’re here to help people wherever we can, I’ve made some great relationships with people I always see at the station – they always stop to say hello.

“Some of the people I’ve met here over the years are unbelievable. I once took Sir Stanley Matthews’ suitcase – he gave me 4 shillings. I helped carry lots of people’s luggage over the years. Roger Moore tipped me £10, and I took Alfred Hitchcock’s as well. I wasn’t too fond of him though because he had a very heavy suitcase full of books! When they were making that Bourne film here they told me I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs, well, I did, and that young man Matt Damon opened the gate for me.

“The station has changed a lot while I’ve been here, but it’s still the station I love, and I think it’ll be fantastic when the former International Terminal re-opens.”

Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.


  1. Happy Birthday London Waterloo. When will the former Eurostar terminal platforms reopen at London Waterloo. Which Eurostar used to operate and terminate at Waterloo (formerly Waterloo International) that served France and Belgium. Before Eurostar moved to London St. Pancras International and Waterloo International closed to be redeveloped as Waterloo is getting the upgrade before new trains arrives that will use the former Eurostar platforms 20-24 that will serve the Windsor & Eton Riverside and Reading routes aswell working on suburban services from platforms 1-4.


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