The Anonymous Widower

Is It Architecture,Engineering Or Art?

I heard good reports on the television of the rebuilt Reading station, so today, as I hadn’t anything specific to do, I decided to go to the town and have a look at the work that has been done.

I think Isambard would have been proud of what has been done, as he rarely did boring! And the new Reading station is certainly not that!

The concept of the station is very simple.  The thirty metre wide overbridge is connected to all the platforms by escalators and lifts. Then at one end there is another set of four escalators and lifts to take people to the main south entrance.

But in all my life, I’ve never seen so many people walking wide-eyed in awe around a new building or even an art gallery. One guy told me he’d come into the station specifically to photograph the building and had taken fifty pictures. Even railwaymen who’d probably seen it all, were walking around giving the new station a critical look.

There was also the teacher, who’d travelled with me from London. She was amazed at it all, especially as she had left on Thursday from the old Reading station.

Very little has been reported on the media about the design and quality of this new station.  The only news seems to be stories pointing out the fact that the handover is a few days late and there’s a bit of chaos. None of the stories mention, that the project will be completed a year ahead of the original plan.

I do wonder if Reading is the shape of stations to come.

The wide overbridge concept is used in a similar, but smaller and less dramatic form at Leeds and Derby, but how many other stations could benefit from this type of design?

In the pictures, you’ll see some of Inter City 125 trains, that are used on all services from London to the West and Wales.  They are genuine high speed trains capable of 200 kph, ride as smooth as silk and they are now forty years old. I doubt they’ll all ever be retired, as for running through the Highlands of Scotland and from Bristol to Cornwall, where electrification is virtually impossible, there is no other fast train, that can handle the route.

So at last, these trains have got a modern station, to complement their design.

April 3, 2013 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] after taking the photos of the station, I walked into the town centre and traced the way my mind told me to go. I had hoped […]

    Pingback by Reading’s Style Before Substance Maps « The Anonymous Widower | April 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. Railways . . . a Second Comming . . . the Travel of the Future : NOW.

    No long Queques at Check Ins, No parking or getting to Airport problems.

    Time to Enjoy a Trip, Talk, Eat, Read & a Pace of Travel – Nice ‘n Easy.

    Comment by Steam Lover | April 3, 2013 | Reply

  3. […] concept of the station is very similar to that of Reading, that I visited earlier in the week. The bridge is narrower and there are no escalators to the […]

    Pingback by Is Derby Reading’s Little Sibling? « The Anonymous Widower | April 7, 2013 | Reply

  4. […] few weeks ago, I visited Reading station and took pictures of the new overbridge […]

    Pingback by The Bridge In Leeds Station « The Anonymous Widower | May 4, 2013 | Reply

  5. […] one isn’t as spectacular as Reading or Leeds, but it does seem, that Network Rail have got a concept that can be applied easily in many […]

    Pingback by The New Pedestrian Bridge At East Croydon Station « The Anonymous Widower | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  6. […] was a station that was the mix of old and new and had a wide bridge over the tracks like Reading and other rebuilt stations in the […]

    Pingback by A Crazy Train Ride « The Anonymous Widower | September 12, 2013 | Reply

  7. […] It is very much a functional rebuild, rather than the more grandiose one at Reading. […]

    Pingback by The Rebuilt Peterborough Station « The Anonymous Widower | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  8. […] ranks with some of the best stations in Europe. There are pictures in this post entitled Is it Architecture, Engineering OrArt?, which show how spectacular the station […]

    Pingback by Before Crossrail – Reading « The Anonymous Widower | October 11, 2014 | Reply

  9. […] In some ways it would be like an upside down version of the new Reading station. […]

    Pingback by Crossrail 2’s Tunnels Under London « The Anonymous Widower | January 9, 2015 | Reply

  10. […] no architect, but I know a good modern station layout like say Reading when I see […]

    Pingback by Crossrail 2 At Wimbledon « The Anonymous Widower | April 26, 2015 | Reply

  11. […] It first impressed me, when it opened and I wrote Is It Architecture, Engineering Or Art? […]

    Pingback by Reading Station Just Gets Better! « The Anonymous Widower | September 13, 2015 | Reply

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