Reading (RDG)

Reading is one of the busiest stations outside of London and is a major transport interchange being the junction of a number of busy lines such as the Great Western Main Line and lines to London Waterloo and Oxford, with an adjacent bus station too.

Type: National Rail (Great Western
Main Line and others)
Station code: RDG
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 15
The station was originally opened by the Great Western Railway in 1840 [1] and was the a terminus of the Great Western Main Line for a few months until the line was continued onto Bristol.

The station was renamed Reading General in 1949 to distinguish it from Reading Southern however the name reverted back to Reading when the other station closed and was merged into Reading General in the early 1970s. Reading now hosts services that are diesel, AC and DC electric powered.

The station has had a number of redevelopments over the year, the latest being finished in 2014 which added five new platforms, new footbridges and access routes and some track layout modifications including flyovers to try and alleviate the bottleneck the station had become by the 2000s.

Over sixteen million people use Reading per annum on services operated by Great Western Railway, Cross Country and South Western Railway. Reading will also become the Western terminus of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line from 2019.
GWR 166 218 prepares to head off for the West

Class 800, the new face of GWR express services

Two more Class 800s

SWR 450 083 represents third rail traction at Reading

A GWR service heads off

View of the rebuilt station

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Reading to Guildford (Middleton Press, 1988) p. 2