London's Victoria Station opened to passengers in the autumn of 1860 when steam locomotives were the mode of pulling carriages along the railway tracks. Steam was phased out and replaced with diesel-powered engines around one hundred years later, ending the more romantic age of train travel.
The need for a more efficient rail service to carry passengers to Gatwick Airport and other outlying areas of the country meant Victoria Station underwent a series of renovations. They included internal connections to the London Underground system and the construction of Victoria coach station nearby. Carrying an average seventy-five million passengers every year, Victoria is the second busiest transport hub in the capital city and only outnumbered statistically by Waterloo.
London's Victoria Station is, as you would expect, a very busy place and not somewhere to be stuck with suitcases if you've a lengthy wait for a train. You can get bag-less easily enough by depositing your baggage in a luggage storage locker at or near Victoria Station.
Bag policy at Victoria Station, London
Keep them with you is the main bag policy at London Victoria because if you don't, you might lose them or get them taken away. Not only are the station police and security staff at Victoria on the lookout for abandoned luggage, but they ask the general public to advise them of any baggage they see that's unattended too. If you decide to leave your suitcase at the entrance to a cafe or public bathroom while you make use of the facility don't be surprised if it's been removed when you go back to pick it up.
Food policy at Victoria Station, London
Don't expect to find a lot of fine dining options inside London's Victoria Station as most of those are located in the surrounding streets of the Victoria neighborhood. What you will find in Victoria Station is a great variety of fast food outlets and cafeterias along with a handful of well-known stores. Not all of the fast food available on the concourse is burger-based and there are several offering more healthy options. You can also get an interesting selection of food and drinks to carry out which you can take onboard your train to help alleviate the boredom of the journey.
Camera policy at Victoria Station, London
Taking photographs in London's Victoria Station is allowed but is controlled by the discretion of the station master and staff. If you cause a nuisance or create an obstruction you will be asked to move. Only handheld cameras are permitted. The use of a tripod isn't, nor is the use of a flash, even when it's an integral part of the camera. Victoria Station is always teeming with people so managing to take a photo without someone else getting into the shot is difficult. Be aware that taking pictures of other passengers without their prior knowledge goes against the privacy and data protection act, so you must ask their permission first.
Rules at Victoria Station, London
Victoria Station closes its doors to the public between 00:45 and 04:00. The only people allowed on the platforms during those hours are ones catching night trains on a Friday or Saturday when entry is permitted fifteen minutes prior to the train departing. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings in the UK including Victoria Station. Designated smoking areas can be found outside the main entrance. If you're traveling with your pooch you'll have no problem in Victoria Station so long as your pet is kept on a lead and under control at all times. Use a pet carrier if you're unsure how they'll behave when surrounded by people and noise.
Lockers at Victoria Station, London
There are luggage storage facilities in London's Victoria Station where you can deposit suitcases or other items. The service is located by platforms eight and nine, so not always the most convenient for dropping off or picking up bags if your train is departing from a different platform. There is also a left luggage service at the station for extra large baggage or valuables. Always check the opening hours as these can vary and you could end up being unable to collect your belongings if you don't time it right.
Skip going onto the busy concourse and use a luggage storage service near Victoria Station instead. Bounce has luggage lockers in locations all over the capital which can be much more convenient if you've left your accommodation and want to do some sightseeing before boarding your train. For Bounce bag storage there's only a small daily per bag fee to pay so you can leave your luggage as long as you like in any twenty-four-hour period without incurring extra charges.