Easter rail disruption as new station opens in Reading

Passengers using Reading railway station in the UK are likely to experience disruption this Easter, during a planned 10-day changeover to new station facilities.

The changeover is scheduled to begin this Friday, March 29, and various levels of disruption can be expected until Sunday April 7. During this period passengers have been advised to check before they travel, but new facilities, including four new platforms, two new entrances and a new footbridge will be available for commuters to use from Tuesday April 2. However, platform changes are to be expected during the 10-day period, and passengers should check their platform information on arrival at the station. Train operator, First Great Western, will have staff available to answer queries.

Network Rail programme director, Bill Henry, said, ‘We realise it will be an inconvenience to passengers to plan alternative routes while we undertake the most ambitious part of this massive project to date. If there was any other way that we could deliver the improvements we would do it. But passengers should understand that during the 10 days of disruption to train services we plan to achieve as much as we could in 20 weekends of work.

‘By compressing together the work we need to do we are on target to finish the upgrades one year ahead of schedule in 2015. This Easter is an historic one at Reading – as it will see the wonderful new parts of the station being opened to the public for the first time. It will also see the biggest commissioning of new track, signalling and infrastructure works at one time in the history of Network Rail. We have a huge task ahead of us, but all of this is only possible through the patience of the travelling public and for that I would like to thank them.’

Total investment in the rail infrastructure around Reading will cost £895m, and in addition to the new station improvements there will be a new viaduct to help ease rail traffic flow, and improvements to areas outside the station entrances that are being carried out by Reading Borough Council.