Date filmed: 21 October 2010
Narrator: The recent spending review reiterated the coalition government’s support for Network Rail’s major stations upgrade programme. Rail Minister Theresa Villiers went to Reading, one of the stations in the programme, to see progress on the improvement works. A busy junction on the Great Western Main Line, Reading station has become a notorious operational bottleneck.
Almost all trains bound for the West of England and South Wales pass through or stop at the station, which is also served by Cross Country services running to the north and south of England. Many commuters travel daily to and from London, in addition, slow moving freight traffic passes through the area as well. The improvement scheme involves building an enlarged station with new platforms and a new train depot as well as remodelling the junction so the many conflicting flows can operate smoothly without getting in the way of each other.
Once complete in 2016, the improvements will significantly improve journey times for passengers and reduce overcrowding.