Bechtel and Network Rail have successfully completed the massive expansion of Reading train station—one of the busiest stations outside London—on schedule and within budget. The work was carried out over four years as a major part of the $1.5 billion (£895 million) Reading Station Area Redevelopment program. The track layout outside Reading station has been improved to ease congestion and the station’s capacity has been doubled allowing it to cater for up to 30 million passengers a year, which is forecast by 2030. The new station is being formally opened today by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“Reading is now a state-of-the-art station, future-proofed to cope with more than double its current number of passengers,” said Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s infrastructure projects regional director, Western and Wales. “Reading station and the surrounding area has been one of the worst bottlenecks on the British railway network, and the station is a major part of the programme of works to reduce this.”
Reading Station now has an additional five platforms; lifts and escalators to make it easier to get around the station; two station entrances connected by a new passenger transfer link bridge; and a new train depot. The station has also been able to increase its timetable with an extra four passenger trains per hour and six freight trains per day. The official opening of Reading Station represents a significant milestone in the Reading Station Area Redevelopment program, with the overall set of enhancement works set to complete in Spring 2015, a year ahead of the original baseline plan.
"This project was complex given that we were working on an operational rail system. However, careful planning and dedication ensured that we were able to get the job done right, safely,” said Ailie MacAdam, managing director of Bechtel’s global rail business
. “Collaboration between Network Rail, train operators, passengers and other stakeholders was essential to the success of Reading Station’s transformation.”
Bechtel was selected by Network Rail in 2009 to provide project management services for the $5.3 billion (£3.1billion) Crossrail and Reading program
, which aims to upgrade key parts of the UK rail system. A global leader in the rail industry, Bechtel has successfully delivered some of the largest and most complex rail projects in the world, including the Channel Tunnel
, High Speed 1
, San Francisco BART
system and the Athens Metro
. It is currently working on Crossrail and Vauxhall Underground Station
(both in London), the Riyadh Metro
, the Rio de Janeiro Metro, and the Dulles Metrorail extension
outside Washington, D.C.