Progress made on Reading Station re-vamp

If you use Reading Station you probably haven't noticed any changes just yet, but engineers have been busy behind the scenes.

They've told Heart 40% of signalling preparatory work has been finished, so they're all set for some hard work over the Christmas period.

Engineers have been working through the night at weekends to get the work done without causing too much disruption to passengers. The rest of the jobs they have to do are too complicated to be done during a short period, so engineers are waiting until Christmas, when they have more time to work on the railway.

It's all part of a complete redevelopment of Reading Station and the surrounding tracks. The station will have five new platforms and two new entrances, and also a new track layout to cater for more trains and cut delays.

Before this work on this can begin, signalling control for the entire Reading area has to be transferred to a brand new control centre in Didcot.

Bill Henry, Network Rail project director for the Reading scheme, said:

"The completion of this resignalling work marks an important milestone for the Reading project, we’ve been working overnight at weekends since the start of the year to get as much work done as we possibly can in advance of Christmas. The work has run very smoothly and every phase of work so far has been delivered on time.

"There’s no let up in our programme – over the coming months we’ll be planning and rehearsing the work we need to do at Christmas to make sure we’re as prepared as we possibly can be."

As well as the signalling work being carried out over Christmas, a 1,000 tonne rail bridge will be replaced over Caversham Road to provide room for new track above.

This means trains will be unable to serve Reading station for a number of days over Christmas and New Year, with buses taking passengers to nearby stations to continue their journeys.

Passengers are advised to check the Network Rail and First Great Western websites for more details.