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Eurostar third rail operations meet their Waterloo!

With only slight apologies for the pun in the title, Tuesday 13th November 2007 was the end of an era for both the Southern third rail system and when operations ceased to use both Waterloo International Station and D.C. conductor rail pickup. Thirteen years to the day after the first public services in and out of Waterloo International their London terminus switched to St. Pancras International and their British depot from Old Oak Common, Acton, to Stratford. With the entire length of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, now branded as High Speed 1, in use Britain has now joined the European High Speed train network.

All photographs by Colin Duff

Eurostar sign at Waterloo International Eurostar sign at Waterloo International
Media circus at Waterloo International The final day at Waterloo International was celebrated with a blaze of publicity, entertainments and a media circus
Pickup shoes on the third rail No more will the visual conjunction of a Class 373 unit, pickup shoes and conductor rail be seen

Tuesday 13th November was a grey, cold and damp - some might say typical - autumn day, not ideal for photography. Therefore the least attractive feature of using the Southern third rail network - the slow transit across south London - was to the photographers' advantage as very fast shutter speeds were not required!

3207+3208 approaching Wandsworth Road Half units 373207 and 373208 formed train 9060, the 10.10 departure from Waterloo to Paris, which is seen here by Factory Junction approaching Wandsworth Road. The length of trains makes them difficult to photograph but the entire train can seen snaking across Stewarts Lane Viaduct.
Spot the train in the urban landscape dominated by the former Battersea Power Station! 3223+3224 on their way into Waterloo. 373223 and 373224 forming train 9117, the 09.10 departure from Paris, make their slow passage across Nine Elms viaduct across the South West Mainline on their way into Waterloo.
3217+3218 passing Bickley Junction 373217 and 373218 work the 11.13 departure from Paris, train 9023, seen here passing Bickley Junction.
3223+3224 work past Bickley Station This shot was taken a few train lengths from the above spot further into London. Train 9132, the 12.40 from Waterloo to Brussels, again 373223 and 373224, is about to pass Bickley Station.