Revamped Reading railway station opened again
The UK’s Reading railway station has just got a £897m revamp and has upgraded to five new platforms, a new link bridge, retail outlets and two entrances.
The last upgrade was in 1989 when £20m was invested in the revamping project and the Queen reopened it. The first train was a First Great Western train from Paddington station in London and the station was kept open for the Queen’s arrival.
During the event she opened a plaque to commemorate the occasion and also named an Engineering train which runs from London to Swansea. She also met the officials and staff involved in the revamping project.
She also met Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, the Hon Mary Bayliss and spoke to the dignitaries such as transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin. Several children gathered at the occasion to present her with a bouquet.
She patted the guide dogs Breck and Orla who were used to test if the stations are friendly to the disabled. She gave the name Brunel to the High Output Plant System (hops) train which is often described as a factory on wheels.
Brunel will be used to upgrade the mainline from Paddington to Cardiff and is expected to be completed by 2017. The extension of the line to Swansea will be over in 2018. The revamp project began in 2009 and the project still goes on to finish the construction of a viaduct which is expected to be completed by summer in 2015.
The naming ceremony and the opening were relayed for the audience gathered outside the northern entrance. There was also a huge gathering of the public outside the station who presented the Queen with bouquets. She also met local MPs namely Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson.