Reading Station Rebuild

Platforms 9 and 10, the old slow line platforms, now the fast lines. I'm  assuming that 10 is a temporary alignment and it will eventually be straightened.
Monday afternoon was my first chance to use Reading station in its post-rebuild form with the station back in full use. It’s an ambitious rebuild aimed to improve capacity for what had become a major bottleneck on the system, with five brand new through platforms on the north side of the station on the site of the former goods avoiding lines, and complete replacement of all platform-level structures on the existing platforms to match those on the new plaforms.

The view above is of platforms 9 and 10, which had previously been the two relief line platforms. Now the fast lines have been slewed across to feed in to them, and the relief lines slewed to serve platforms 12-15. I guess the up main (on the left-hand side) must be a temporary alignment, and will eventually be straightened.

9 and 10 (now the fast lines) looking wast towards Didcot.  They feed into what were the relief lines - see the new slow lines to the right of the picture. The track layout is almost unaltered.
Looking west from the same spot. The track layout is unchanged bar one new crossover, one end of which was the old turnout leading into the now-removed bay platform. In this interim layout the former fast lines on the left are currently out of use, the old slow lines are the new fast lines, and the two new tracks on the right form the new slow lines.

Platforms 13 and 14. These are completely new and now form the new slow lines.
The brand new platforms 13 and 14, looking very new and shiny. It looks almost like Kato Unitrack.

Platforms 7 and 8, looking towards London. These were the former up and down main lines, with the centre fast line. 7 (on the right) is now used only by trains heading down the Berks & Hants towards Newbury, and 8 (left) is used by reversing Cross-Country services, and down Bristol/South Wales/Oxford fast trains,
Platforms 7 and 8, looking towards London, with a lot of building work still taking place. These were the original fast line platforms; 7 on the right is currently connected only to the Berks & Hants line heading towards the south-west, while 8 on the left is here used by a reversing Cross-Country service. The old centre through track is now disconnected and out of use.

The new
A view of the interior of the spacious new transfer deck. There’s an awful lot of empty space here at the moment.

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6 Responses to Reading Station Rebuild

  1. Nice! BTW, whatever you do, if you come to the U.S., don’t ever go to Penn Station. ESPECIALLY don’t compare what it is now to what it used to be in the Fifties. You’ll break down and cry.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Penn Station is to New York what Birmingham New Street is to Britain, so I hear.

  3. Worst part is, it didn’t used to be that way. There’s now talk of relocating the current Penn Station and making it something marginally less noxious than the current low-ceilinged underground rabbit warren it is now, but that’s years if not decades off. The whole history of the station is one of the classic examples of people not knowing when they had it good.

  4. Scott says:

    Penn Station is just SAD. It’s a monstrosity of ugliness. Grand Central at least looks pretty in the main hall, ditto with 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

    The DC station is really nice, too.

  5. Michael Orton says:

    My limited experience of USA rail travel has been on the West coast. It seems very odd to board trains as though they are aircraft. I suppose if you only have two departures a day in each direction you can do that, but I do think the station staff would benefit from an exchange visit with our system. Perhaps Clapham Junction would be OTT, but Paddington ought to do!

  6. Natalie says:

    Coming through Reading Station late at night last December, I was appalled by the lack of awareness that PEOPLE use the station – in fact millions of them over the year. The new platforms are draughty, waiting rooms scarce, lavatories too far away and too few, the new vast crossing ridiculously anti-social, dangerously steep, impersonal, lack of information and poorly thought-through for platform changes….I could go on and on.
    Plus the hideousness of it all. Nearly 1 billion sterling!!