Friday 25 Sep 2020
Reading station has been named as major station of the year at the 2020 National Rail Awards
- Region & Route:
- Wales & Western: Western
Reading station has been named as the country’s best major station after picking up a National Rail Award
The station, which is owned and managed by Network Rail, has more than 25 million people passing through it each year and in the last 12 months it has had a series of passenger improvements helping it be crowned as the best major station.
Those improvements include a major refurbishment of the toilets which are free to use, new free water fountains, increased seating and signage plus much more.
Reading station has been transformed in the last decade as £900m has been spent transforming it into a modern transport hub as part of the electrification of the Great Western mainline.
Dubbed ‘The New Reading Station’ it was opened by the Queen in 2014.
Although the awards usually take place in an ‘Oscar’ style event, this year’s awards ceremony was held virtually due to COVID-19.
Andy Phillips, Network Rail’s station manager for Reading station, said:
“I am delighted that Reading is officially the best major station in the country.
“It feels amazing for my team to be recognised for all the hard work they’ve done at Reading station. In the last year, the station has continued to put passengers first by continuously striving to improve the customer experience, as well as Network Rail and GWR delivering the biggest timetable change in December 2019 since the 70s.
“Since COVID-19, things may have changed in the short-term, however the station has continued to deliver customer improvement projects, such as the Brunel Toilet refurbishment and the Lift Safety campaign, while a robust cleaning regime has been introduced in the station to reassure our customers that it is safe to travel by train. The station celebrated its 180th birthday in March 2020, and as part of this, a history vinyl timeline has been installed on the Transfer Deck showing the changes over the station’s 180 years”.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is a well-deserved accolade for Reading Station which has been completely transformed in recent years. It is not only an instantly recognisable landmark on Reading and the region’s skyline, but a world class facility for the many thousands of Reading residents and Reading employees who use the station every day.
“The station is unique in that in as many people use it to commute into Reading as those who commute out. From the Council’s perspective it was absolutely imperative that we delivered modern new transport interchanges to both the north and south of the new station to complement the new station itself and to make sustainable travel choices to and from the station a realistic option for commuters.
“The final result is a modern and spacious new gateway for Reading which befits its place as de facto capital of the Thames Valley and an economic powerhouse in the south east region.”
Alison Webster, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Berkshire Loal Enterprise Partner (LEP) said:
“Reading is a key asset for the economy of Berkshire – it was recently voted the third best destination in Europe (behind Dublin and Amsterdam) for Foreign Direct Investment for company headquarters - and this success is due in no small measure to its unbeatable connectivity, of which Reading railway station is a vital component. LEP funding has also gone into other Reading rail stations, such as Green Park, Reading West and Theale, all of which will further enhance local connectivity and in due course encourage greater modal shift away from cars and back onto public transport.”
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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.