London Paddington station

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Paddington National Rail
London Paddington
Paddington Station-4269161-by-Oast-House-Archive.jpg
The Victorian Train Shed at London Paddington Station
Paddington is located in Central London
Location of Paddington in Central London
Location Paddington
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by Network Rail
Station code PAD
DfT category A
Number of platforms 14
Accessible Yes[1]
Fare zone 1
OSI Marylebone (National Rail) [2]
Lancaster Gate (London Underground)
Cycle parking Yes
Toilet facilities Yes
National Rail annual entry and exit
2011–12 Increase 33.74 million[3]
2012–13 Increase 34.14 million[3]
2013–14 Increase 35.09 million[3]
2014–15 Increase 35.72 million[3]
2015–16 Increase 36.54 million[3]
Railway companies
Original company Great Western Railway
Key dates
4 June 1838 Temporary station opened
29 May 1854 Permanent station opened
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
WGS84 51°31′02″N 0°10′39″W / 51.5173°N 0.1774°W / 51.5173; -0.1774Coordinates: 51°31′02″N 0°10′39″W / 51.5173°N 0.1774°W / 51.5173; -0.1774
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London Transport portal
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Paddington, also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex, located on Praed Street in the Paddington area. The site has been the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and its successors since 1838. Much of the main-line station dates from 1854 and was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was first served by London Underground trains in 1863, as the original western terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. Today, Paddington tube station is served by the Bakerloo, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines.

Paddington is the London terminus of the Great Western Main Line, operated today by Great Western Railway, which provides the majority of commuter and regional passenger services to west London and the Thames Valley region as well as long-distance intercity services to South West England and South Wales. It is also the terminus for the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services to and from London Heathrow Airport. It is one of 19 stations in the United Kingdom managed directly by Network Rail. It is situated in fare zone 1.


The station complex is bounded at the front by Praed Street and at the rear by Bishop's Bridge Road, which crosses the station throat on the recently replaced Bishop's Bridge. On the west side of the station is Eastbourne Terrace, while the east side is bounded by the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal. The station is in a shallow cutting, a fact obscured at the front by a hotel building, but which can be clearly seen from the other three sides.[4]

The surrounding area is partly residential, and includes the major St Mary's Hospital, restaurants and hotels. Until recently there was little office accommodation in the area, and most commuters interchanged between National Rail and the London Underground to reach workplaces in the West End or the City. However, recent redevelopment of derelict railway and canal land, marketed as Paddington Waterside, has resulted in new office complexes nearby.[4][5]

In addition to the Underground stations at Paddington, Lancaster Gate tube station on the Central line is a short walk away to the south. A little further to the south lie the conjoined parks of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.[6]

National Rail station[edit]

The National Rail station is officially named London Paddington, a name commonly used outside London but rarely by Londoners, who call it just Paddington, as on the London Underground map. Parts of the station, including the main train shed, date from 1854, when it was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as the London terminus for the Great Western Railway (GWR). It is one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail.[7]


The first station was a temporary terminus for the GWR on the west side of Bishop's Bridge Road, opened on 4 June 1838. The first GWR service from London to Taplow, near Maidenhead, ran from Paddington in 1838. After the main station opened in 1854, this became the site of the goods depot.[5][8]

Paddington Station in 1888
London Paddington station
Crossrail Crossrail opens 2019
Circle line (London Underground)District Line
Circle and District lines
formerly Praed Street
Bakerloo Line Bakerloo line
PaddingtonNational Rail
Bishop's Road
Ranelagh Bridge depot closed 1980
Royal Oak London Underground mainline closed 1871
Royal Oak portal
Subway tunnel
Westbourne Park London Underground mainline closed 1992
Circle line (London Underground)Hammersmith & City Line Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
National Rail Great Western Main Line
Station location map
Paddington Station in Victorian Times

The main station between Bishops Bridge Road and Praed Street was designed by Brunel, who was commemorated by a statue on the concourse (since moved to Platform 1, by the exit to the former taxi rank), although much of the architectural detailing was by his associate Matthew Digby Wyatt. It opened on 29 May 1854. The glazed roof is supported by wrought iron arches in three spans, respectively spanning 68 feet (21 m), 102 feet (31 m) and 70 feet (21 m). The roof is 699 feet (210 m) long, and the original roof spans had two transepts connecting the three spans. It is commonly believed that these were provided by Brunel to accommodate traversers to carry coaches between the tracks within the station. However recent research, using early documents and photographs, does not seem to support this belief, and their actual purpose is unknown.[5][8][9]

The four arches of the station roof, including Span 4 (far left) prior to restoration

The Great Western Hotel was built on Praed Street in front of the station in 1851–1854 by architect Philip Charles Hardwick, son of Philip Hardwick (designer of the Euston Arch). The station was substantially enlarged in 1906–1915 and a fourth span of 109 feet (33 m) was added on the north side, parallel to the others. The new span was built in a similar style to the original three spans, but the detailing is different and it has no transepts.[5][10]

On Armistice Day 1922, a memorial to the employees of the GWR who died during the First World War was unveiled by Viscount Churchill. The bronze memorial, depicting a soldier reading a letter, was sculpted by Charles Sargeant Jagger and stands on platform 1.[10][11]

A very early construction by Brunel was discovered immediately to the north of the station. A cast-iron bridge carrying the Bishop's Bridge Road over the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal was uncovered after removal of brick cladding during the replacement of the adjacent bridge over the railway lines at the mouth of the station.[5]

The band Supertramp used the station to record the train sounds featured in the song "Rudy" on the 1974 album Crime of the Century.[12]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 19 February 1840 a mail train was derailed near Paddington. There were no injuries.[13]
  • On 15 November 1840, a rear end collision occurred between a passenger train and a light engine. Six passengers were injured.[14][15]
  • On 21 July 1874, a passenger train was misrouted into a siding and collided with the buffer stop. Some passengers sustained slight injuries and shock.[16]
  • On 9 August 1920, a passenger train collided with the buffers. Two people were injured.[17]
  • On 12 September 1921, a passenger train was being shunted into a platform and collided with three luggage vans already occupying the line. A carriage was derailed and a luggage van was wrecked.[18]
  • On 23 November 1983, a sleeper train hauled by Class 50 locomotive 50 041 Bulwark was derailed on the approach to Paddington due to excessive speed through a crossover. Three of the seventy passengers were injured.[19][20]
  • On 25 May 2014, Class 360 electric multiple unit 360 205 derailed at it entered the station due to maintenance errors.[21]
  • On 16 June 2016, Class 165 diesel multiple unit 165 124 was derailed near the station, causing significant disruption to services.[22]


Paddington has 13 terminal platforms, numbered 1 to 14 from south-west to north-east (left to right as seen from the concourse). Platforms 1 to 8 are below the original three spans of Brunel's train shed, platforms 9 to 12 beneath the later fourth span. Platform 14 is within the Metropolitan Railway's old Bishop's Road (Suburban) station to the north-west. Platform 13 was removed. Immediately alongside are through platforms 15 and 16, used by the London Underground's Hammersmith & City and Circle lines (see below).[23]

Platforms 6 and 7 are dedicated to the Heathrow Express, and platforms 13 and 14 can be used only by local services' Turbo trains up to seven cars long.[24] Platforms 1 to 5 and 8 to 12 can be used by any services, but long-distance trains generally use the south-western platforms, and local trains (including Heathrow Connect) the north-eastern ones.

The concourse at rush hour.

The concourse stretches across the heads of platforms 1 to 12, underneath the London end of the four train sheds. Platforms 13 and 14 can only be reached indirectly via the north-western end of platform 12, or from the footbridge which crosses the north-western end of the station and gives access to all platforms.[23]

The area between the rear of the Great Western Hotel and the concourse is traditionally called The Lawn. It was originally unroofed and occupied by sidings, but was later built up to form part of the station's first concourse. The Lawn has recently been re-roofed and separated from the concourse by a glass screen wall. It is surrounded by shops and cafés on several levels.[5][10]

There are ticket barriers to platforms 2–5 and 10–16.[25]

The fourth span has been renovated, involving repair and restoration of the original glazed roof, so that platforms 9 to 12 inclusive can once more enjoy daylight.[26] A false ceiling or crash deck had been in place since 1996. Work was completed and the restored roof unveiled in July 2011. Network Rail originally planned to demolish Span 4 and build an office block over that part of the station; Save Britain's Heritage successfully campaigned against this.[27]

A first-class lounge on Platform 1 provides complimentary refreshments and Wi-Fi internet access. It also has screens showing television news as well as a departure board.[28]

Heathrow Express provides flight information display screens for airline passengers at the Heathrow Express ticket office near the dedicated Heathrow Express platforms 6 and 7.[29] Baggage check-in facilities for airline passengers were provided in 1999 in the Lawn but progressively replaced by retail units.[30]

The platforms inside the train shed at London Paddington station. Three of the platforms are occupied by First Great Western High Speed Trains, while another two have Heathrow Express units
Train shed at Paddington


Paddington is the London terminus for long-distance high-speed trains operated by Great Western Railway. The most common destinations are:[31]

Flows on long-distance high-speed trains to or from Paddington
Journeys in 2007/08 (million)
Reading 4.0
Didcot Parkway 1.1
Swindon 1.0
Bristol Temple Meads 0.9
Bath Spa 0.8
Cardiff Central 0.7
Bristol Parkway 0.6
Newbury 0.6
Exeter St David's 0.4
Chippenham 0.4

Other long-distance destinations are Taunton, Plymouth, Truro and Penzance in the West Country; Hereford and Worcester in the West Midlands; and Newport, Bridgend and Swansea in South Wales.

The current operator, Great Western Railway, assigns numbers to the pocket timetables it publishes, and its services to Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and South Wales are in timetable number 1.[32]

An integrated timetable is offered between Paddington and Rosslare Europort in Ireland via the Stena Line ferry from Fishguard Harbour railway station with through ticketing to stations in Ireland[33] and a daily morning and evening service in both directions, changing at Newport, Cardiff or Swansea. This route has been in existence since 1906.

Paddington is the terminus for suburban trains to West London and the Thames Valley, also operated by Great Western Railway. The most important destinations are:[34]

Suburban flows to or from Paddington
Journeys in 2007/08 (million)
Slough 2.0
Maidenhead 1.6
Oxford 1.5
Ealing Broadway 1.0
Hayes and Harlington 1.0
Newbury 0.6
West Drayton 0.6
West Ealing 0.6
Twyford 0.5
Windsor & Eton 0.4

Note: These figures exclude Heathrow Express and some TfL Travelcard data

Other important short-distance services are Reading and Didcot Parkway. In 2010 Network Rail published a map showing the range and importance of destinations served, using 2006/07 data.[35]

Two services go to Heathrow Airport: the Heathrow Express travels non-stop at a premium fare, while Heathrow Connect takes the same route but calls at most intermediate stations.[36][37]

Paddington is an alternative London terminal for Chiltern Railways' service to Birmingham, used when London Marylebone is inaccessible for engineering or other reasons, and for one daily service (departs 11:36), towards West Ruislip, calling at South Ruislip. Virgin CrossCountry used to run services to Paddington from Glasgow Central and Blackpool North. These services were withdrawn in Summer 2003 as part of Virgin's Operation Princess.[38]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Greenford Branch Line
  Acton Main Line
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Night Riviera
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Commuter services
Great Western Main Line
  Acton Main Line
or Ealing Broadway
Terminus   Heathrow Connect
Paddington – Heathrow
  Ealing Broadway
Terminus   Heathrow Express
London Paddington–Heathrow Airport
  Heathrow Central
Terminus   Chiltern Railways
Acton to Northolt Line (Limited Services)
Monday-Friday Only
  South Ruislip
Historical railways
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
  Royal Oak
Line and station open

London Underground stations[edit]

Paddington is served by four London Underground lines through two separate stations: the Bakerloo, Circle and District lines have a combined sub-surface and deep-level station on Praed Street to the south of the main-line station, and the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines have a sub-surface station with access from Paddington Basin to the north. Circle line services run through both of the sub-surface stations as part of a spiral route. Although shown on the London Underground map as a single station,[39] the two stations are not directly linked.

Lancaster Gate Underground station on the Central line and Marylebone mainline station are within walking distance and out of station interchanges to these stations are permitted at no extra cost if made within the permitted time.[40]

  Paddington (Praed Street)  
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Bakerloo line
Deep tube station
towards Hammersmith (via Tower Hill)
Circle line
Subsurface station
towards Wimbledon
District line
Wimbledon-Edgware Road
  Paddington (Paddington Basin)  
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
Subsurface station
towards Edgware Road (via Aldgate)
Hammersmith & City line
Subsurface station
towards Barking

Crossrail station[edit]

A Crossrail station for Paddington is being built under Eastbourne Terrace, the road alongside the south-west side of the main-line station, and also under the adjacent taxi rank in the Departures Road (so called, because it served what was originally the departures side of the station). Eastbourne Terrace was closed for about two years from 12 February 2012. A new taxi rank is on the other side of the station, above Platform 12. Crossrail services are due to start in 2018.[41] The new station box will be 23 metres deep and 260 metres long.[42]

Future Development
Preceding station   Elizabeth line roundel.svg National Rail logo.svg Crossrail   Following station
towards Reading
Elizabeth line
towards Shenfield
Elizabeth line
towards Abbey Wood

In fiction[edit]

The mystery novel 4.50 From Paddington (1952) by Agatha Christie begins with a murder witnessed by a passenger on a train from Paddington.[43]

One of The Railway Series books, The Eight Famous Engines, contains a story about Gordon, Duck and a foreign engine debating which station London is. Duck says that he used to work at Paddington as a station pilot so he thinks Paddington is most important. However, Gordon later finds out that the station in London is St Pancras.

Statue of Paddington Bear

The children's book character Paddington Bear was named after the station. In the books, by Michael Bond, he is found at the station, having come from "deepest, darkest Peru" and with a note attached to his coat reading "please look after this bear, thank you". A statue of him by Marcus Cornish, based on the original drawings by Peggy Fortnum, is located under the clock on platform 1.[44][45][46]

There is a fictional underground Paddington station on the North London System in the novel The Horn of Mortal Danger (1980).[47]

In the Sherlock episode The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go to Paddington to get to Dartmoor for a case. In the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, Watson and his companions Dr. Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskerville leave for Dartmoor from Paddington.


London Buses routes 7, 23, 27, 36, 46, 205, 332 and 436 and night route N7 and N205 serve the station.



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  2. ^ "Out of Station Interchanges" (XLS). Transport for London. May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  4. ^ a b "Paddington Station Planning Brief" (PDF). Westminster City Council. April 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2008. 
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  6. ^ "Lancaster Gate Tube Station". Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
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  9. ^ Cole, Beverly (2011). Trains. Potsdam, Germany: H.F.Ullmann. p. 104. ISBN 978-3-8480-0516-1. 
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  11. ^ "Great Western Railway War Memorial". The Great Western Railway Magazine. December 1922. pp. 537–40. Retrieved 9 July 2007. 
  12. ^ The Mojo Collection. Canongate. November 2007. p. 335. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Great Western Railway". The Standard (4989). London. 20 February 1840. 
  14. ^ "Railway Accidents". The Times (17519). London. 15 November 1840. col D, p. 6. 
  15. ^ "Accident at Paddington on 15th November 1840". Railways Archive. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Summary of this Morning's News". The Pall Mall Gazette (2942). London. 22 July 1874. 
  17. ^ "Train Accident at Paddington". The Times (42485). London. 10 August 1870. col E, p. 7. 
  18. ^ "Collision at Paddington Station". The Times (42824). London. 13 September 1921. col D, p. 7. 
  19. ^ "Eleven coaches derailed in Paddington sleeper crash". The Times (61698). London. 24 November 1983. col B-F, p. 32. 
  20. ^ Department of Transport (18 February 1985). "Report of the derailment that occurred on 23rd November 1983 at Paddington Station" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationary Office. ISBN 0 11 550686 1. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "Derailment of an empty passenger train at Paddington station 25 May 2014" (PDF). Rail Accidents Investigation Branch. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
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  24. ^ Yonge, John; Padgett, David (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 1A. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7. 
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  27. ^ "Victory at Paddington" (PDF). Save Britain's Heritage. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "First Class". First Great Western. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Heathrow Express brings back Check-in to reduce passenger stress". AirRailNews. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Sharp, Andrew W. (5 November 2004). "Processing of airline passengers and their baggage at off-airport bus, water and rail terminals – successful intermodal terminals" (PDF). International Air Rail Organisation. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  31. ^ "Great Western Route Utilisation Study" (PDF). Figure 3.10. Network Rail. March 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "Current timetable". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  33. ^ "Rosslare to Fishguard". Stena Line. n.d. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Great Western Route Utilisation Study" (PDF). Figure 3.12. Network Rail. March 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  35. ^ "Key Flows to/from London Paddington" (PDF). Network Rail. March 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  36. ^ "Our Company". Heathrow Express. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  37. ^ "Welcome". Heathrow Connect. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  38. ^ VT3 timetable 2003
  39. ^ "Standard Tube Map" (PDF). Transport for London. December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  40. ^ "Out of Station Interchanges" (XLS). Transport for London. May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. 
  41. ^ "Changes to travel around Paddington Station due to Crossrail works" (Press release). Transport for London. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  42. ^ "Paddington Crossrail contract signed". Rail. Peterborough. 10 August 2011. p. 21. 
  43. ^ Christie, Agatha (1957). 4.50 From Paddington. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-720854-8. 
  44. ^ McSmith, Andy (24 May 2008). "Paddington returns to his station as children's favourite". The Independent. 
  45. ^ Silvey, Anita (2002). The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators. Houghton Mifflin. p. 51. ISBN 0-618-19082-1. 
  46. ^ "Statues of Fictional Characters". Secret London. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  47. ^ Leonard, Lawrence (1980). The Horn of Mortal Danger. Cox and Wyman. ISBN 0-7445-0847-9. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]