Network Rail announces preferred contractor for Reading Station upgrading

A Costain/Hochteif joint venture has been named preferred contractor for Network Rail’s rebuild of Reading station.

The contract will see five new platforms constructed at Reading, relieving congestion on the Great Western Main Line and spelling an end to the familiar experience of waiting outside the station for a platform.

The contract, worth approximately £80m, is one of the biggest that will be awarded as part of Network Rail’s £850m project to transform Reading’s railway.

Network Rail project director Bill Henry said: “The five new five new platforms we’re building at Reading will increase capacity, enable us to get more trains through and mean better journeys for passengers. The new station will be more accessible, more modern, and improve the experience of the 14m people that travel through every year.

“This is just one part of a massive upgrade of the railway through Reading. We’ll work closely with our contractors to make sure we get the job done with as little disruption as possible to the railway and people using the station.”

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Improvements for passengers at Reading station will include two new entrances and a new footbridge with lifts and escalators to all platforms. The station environment will be substantially improved with a new roof, new lighting, and new retail and customer facilities.

Contractors will start work on site this summer and the first new platform, on the southern lines to Gatwick and London Waterloo, will open at the beginning of 2012. The remaining new platforms, new entrances and footbridge will be completed in spring 2013 and station works will be completed in 2014.

The redevelopment of Reading station is part of a wider project to upgrade the Great Western Main Line through Reading. This will see the construction of a viaduct to take fast main lines over slower freight and relief lines, along with associated changes to track and signalling designed to increase capacity and cut delays.