Monday 10 May 2010
NETWORK RAIL SHOWCASES VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF READING STATION
Network Rail today published artist’s impressions of how Reading station will look, following their multimillion pound investment to modernise the station.
The images have been released in advance of a public exhibition on Network Rail’s plans for Reading’s railway, to be held in Reading Town Hall from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 May.
Tony Walker, Network Rail’s scheme sponsor for the Reading project said: “Reading’s residents and commuters were really positive about our plans for the station when we consulted them a couple of years ago. I’m keen to give people an update on our scheme and get their views before we start construction in earnest.
“The work we’re doing in Reading is one of the biggest pieces of railway investment anywhere in the country right now. I urge everyone who lives in Reading or uses the station to come along to the Town Hall and find out about the benefits and how they’re affected by our plans.”
Network Rail, in conjunction with Reading Borough Council, plans to enlarge and modernise Reading station, building two new entrances connected by a brand new footbridge, relieving congestion for Reading’s commuters. New lifts and escalators will make it easier to get about the station, and five extra platforms will provide more space for trains.
The improvements to the station are just one part of Network Rail’s ambitious plans for Reading’s railway, which involve the construction of a viaduct to untangle the tracks to the west of the station, boosting capacity and cutting delays.
Owing to close working partnerships between Network Rail, First Great Western, and other train operating companies, the vast majority of the work to rebuild Reading station and the surrounding railway will be undertaken without affecting train services. However there will be times when passengers using Reading station will be affected. The first of these will be this Christmas (2010), when the station will close for a number of days while the first phase of work is completed.
Network Rail engineers and project managers will be on hand at the Town Hall exhibition to answer questions about the future for Reading’s railway, and the benefits for the travelling public. Further details on trains next Christmas and alternative travel arrangements will also be available.
Notes to editors
The Reading exhibition will be held in the Waterhouse Chamber, Reading Town Hall (Blagrave Street, RG1 1QH), except on the Thursday evening when it will relocate to Reading station. It will be open at the following times:
- Thursday 20 May, 10.00 – 16.00
- Thursday 20 May, 17.00 – 20.00 (Reading station)
- Friday 21 May, 10.00 – 20.00
- Saturday 22 May, 10.00 – 14.00
The exhibition follows a full public consultation on Network Rail’s plans for Reading in 2008. The response was very positive, with two thirds of people expressing support for the scheme, and only 5% raising any concerns
The benefits of Network Rail’s plans for Reading include:
- A bigger, more modern station for Reading with five new platforms, two new entrances, a new passenger footbridge, new lifts and escalators
- A viaduct to the west of Reading station to increase the capacity of the railway and cut delays
- Easier access across the railway for Reading residents. Widened bridges on Cow Lane; a tunnel under the railway reopened for pedestrians
- Massive investment in Reading’s rail industry. New train and engineering depots securing jobs in Reading
- Increased capacity for freight trains through Reading taking lorries off the road
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.