Reading Station Upgrade Continues Apace - Amid Photography Ban?

Network Rail is leading a huge £500m project centred around Reading station on the Great West Main Line (GWML) which will also provide a new flyover and reinstate a dive-under allowing more trains to operate.

Trains Keep Running While New Station and Track Layout is Built

Away from the Thameslink project, the Reading area upgrade is the largest bespoke project Network Rail (NR) is undertaking.

It will provide five new platforms, see the provision of a flyover to the west of the station and re-instate a diveunder to the east of the station.

Delays Reduced and More Frequent Trains

These new grade separated junctions will reduce delays due to capacity constraints for all First Great Western services and allow far easier access for Arriva Cross Country trains, both of which serve Reading on a very frequent basis.

The South West Trains’ services to and from Waterloo will also benefit with the provision of an extra platform and the doubling of the connection at the east end of the station. Once completed, the project will also allow a massive increase in services benefitting passengers and freight companies alike.

The project is anticipated to allow for a 30% increase in train services and to reduce delays.

Freight services will become more reliable and probably more frequent with the new track layout which is a key junction on the route to Southampton Docks from all over the UK rail network.

The principle contractors involved are Bam Nuttal, Buckingham Construction, Carillion, Costain and Invensys Rail.

New maintenance depots are to be built to the west of the station ready for the InterCity Express Train (IEP) when they are ordered. Another new depot for First Great Western will be built to replace the existing one in the Reading Triangle to the west of the station. The land this occupies is required to accommodate the western flyover.

Freight first tracks were removed just over a year ago to the north of the station to allow work to commence.

Start of Station Works

The main part of the station works was commenced in September with digging holes to support the erection of protective hoarding along platforms 4 and 9 at the end of the month. The concrete on this platform was found to be twice as deep as thought and contained many service pipes etc which could not be disturbed.

The old station buildings were and are still being subjected to the usual asbestos survey. Sections of canopies along platform 4 will be removed for ease of access to the buildings and replaced with temporary ones but some gaps will remain on a short term basis.

A new platform 4 is being built to the east (London side) of the station which will provide a new platform for Gatwick and Waterloo services. The single lead connection from Reading station to the Southern will be doubled, eliminating this bottleneck.

Most of platform 9 has been boarded up and most of the canopy has been removed. At the west end of this platform is a huge mound of rubble, the remnants of the 1960s signalbox and other station buildings that have been demolished. Much of this will be re-used as hardcore in future building in the project.

Passenger Communications

These have just changed to upgraded systems with effect from the start of November and include new screens and announcements.

First Great Western has started a newsletter this month called Reading Station News. This will be available at Reading station, on trains and emailed to season ticket holders.

Photography at Reading Banned due to Security Risk?

The excellent work that the various railway Public Relations teams at Reading are carrying out is at risk from over zealous platform staff. The author was stopped by no less than three FGW staff saying that photography was not allowed and that anyone taking photographs had to sign in.

This is plainly NOT the case and there is an inalienable right for anyone to take photographs in a public place as there is no presumption of privacy by anyone who is in a public place. If you are challenged, do not get angry but explain the above principle.

One reply is that ‘You have to sign in’. Ask why because passengers do not have to sign in so why should a photographer?

External Links

 
 

Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

 
 
Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Help and advice

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france

#railchat

Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

More details

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Locomotives & Engines

 
Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 86% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...

 
Twitter

@railcouk

Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community!

 
redspottedhanky.com

redspottedhanky.com

redspottedhanky.com is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.

 
Railway Children

Railway Children

Railway Children exists to help vulnerable children in grave circumstances.