Reading West railway station

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Reading West
National Rail
Reading West railway station.jpg
General information
LocationReading, Borough of Reading
Grid referenceSU702733
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Other information
Station codeRDW
ClassificationDfT category E
Opened1 July 1906
Original companyGreat Western Railway
2016/17Increase 0.435 million
 Interchange Increase 11,855
2017/18Decrease 0.434 million
 Interchange Increase 14,658
2018/19Increase 0.447 million
 Interchange Decrease 11,544
2019/20Decrease 0.407 million
 Interchange Increase 12,659
2020/21Decrease 0.134 million
 Interchange Decrease 3,165
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Reading West railway station serves West Reading, Berkshire, about 1 mile (1.6 km) west from the town's main retail and commercial areas. The station is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway. It is 36 miles 75 chains (36.94 mi; 59.4 km) down the line the zero point at London Paddington.[1]

Station layout[edit]

To the north of the station the line crosses a railway bridge over the Oxford Road, followed by Oxford Road Junction, which is the southern apex of a triangle of tracks. The tracks to the west curve round to join the Great Western Main Line towards Bristol at Reading West Junction, and are largely used by freight trains between Southampton Docks and points to the north. The tracks to the east lead to Reading station and are mostly used by passenger services. To the south of the station the line enters a cutting, crossed by high level bridges carrying the Tilehurst Road and, further to the south, the Bath Road. Beyond the cutting is Southcote Junction, where the line to Basingstoke diverges from that to Newbury.[2]

The station has two platforms, which were linked by a footbridge until it was demolished as part of the electrification of the Reading to Newbury line. There is a ticket office on the up (Reading-bound) platform, which is open only in the morning, and canopies provide some shelter on each platform. There is separate pedestrian access to the northern end of both platforms from Oxford Road, together with access to the southern end of the down platform from Tilehurst Road.

In 2021, work began on a new station building on Oxford Road, as well as a new entrance from Tilehurst Road, and a new bus interchange. [3]


A 1909 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing (left) railways in the area of Reading West (shown here as WEST STA.)

The line through Reading West station opened on 21 December 1847, as part of the Great Western Railway backed Berks and Hants Railway's route from Reading to Newbury. On 1 November 1848, Berks and Hants Railway's second route to Basingstoke opened. The two lines merged at Southcote Junction, just south of the eventual station site, running together through that site to Reading station.[4][5]

Reading West station itself did not open until 1 July 1906, by which time the Berks and Hants Railway had been subsumed into the Great Western Railway. The station was originally intended to serve trains between the north of England and the south coast which could thus avoid a reversal at Reading.[4][5]


The station is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway between Reading and Basingstoke or Newbury. During weekday daytime the station is served by two trains an hour on the Basingstoke route, plus one on the Newbury route. Trains are less frequent on Sundays and in the evenings. Trains take some 3 minutes to reach Reading, 20 minutes to reach Basingstoke, 25 minutes to reach Newbury and just over 30 minutes to reach London.[6]

Passenger services on Great Western Railway's route to the West Country via Taunton, on CrossCountry services from the North of England to Southampton Central and Bournemouth, and on some local services, pass through the station without stopping.

South West Trains previously ran services from Reading to Basingstoke, which occasionally ran to Brighton.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Reading   Great Western Railway
Reading to Taunton line
  Great Western Railway
Reading to Basingstoke Line


On 28 December 1965, the 08:30 passenger service from Reading General to Penzance derailed near the station. The 10-coach train was travelling at 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) when it struck a broken rail, derailing at the fifth carriage (with the wheels of the following coaches also derailing). The train stayed upright, and the application of the locomotive's vacuum brakes saw the train stop in approximately 110 yards (100 m).[7] An investigation found that the rail had suffered a transverse fracture at the site of wheelburns.[8] None of the passengers sustained serious injury.[7]



  1. ^ Padgett, David (June 2018) [1989]. Munsey, Myles (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western & Wales (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. map 4B. ISBN 978-1-9996271-0-2.
  2. ^ Horn, Graham (6 January 2010). "Reading West station". Geograph. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  3. ^ Eichler, William. "Reading council leads on £3.3m project to transform station". Local Government News.
  4. ^ a b "Basingstoke Railway History in Maps". Christopher Tolley. 2001. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. ^ a b Waters, Laurence (1990). Rail Centres: Reading. Ian Allan Ltd. p. not cited. ISBN 0-7110-1937-1.
  6. ^ Table 116 & 122 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  7. ^ a b Olver, Major Peter (11 November 1966). "Report on the Derailment that occurred on 28th December 1965 between Reading General and Reading West Stations in the Western Region British Railways". Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Derailment at Reading". Reading Gazette. June 1967. p. 433. Retrieved 28 January 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°27′19″N 0°59′26″W / 51.455142°N 0.990516°W / 51.455142; -0.990516