Latest Rail News

31.07.15

Network Rail starts £20m Paddington facelift

Network Rail is redeveloping Paddington station in a £20m effort to improve the passenger experience.

Over the next 18 months, the Grade 1 listed structure will see ‘The Lawn’, its retail outlet area, completely revamped alongside current works on the station’s roof and lighting system above the platforms.

The company will provide commuters with a wider variety of places to eat, drink and shop as a response to an ever-growing number of passengers – predicted to reach 61 million this year and increase significantly after the arrival of Crossrail in 2018. Separate Crossrail-related works have been going on since May 2010 at Eastbourne Terrace, with main construction beginning in February 2012 and due for completion in early 2018. Before that, there was work below the station to build the new Hammersmith & City and Circle lines Underground station, until July 2013.

The retail outlet area in the main station building will be specifically upgraded to include better waiting facilities and more seating areas in addition to a larger range of stores to choose from, ultimately transforming it into a modern retail and dining hub for users.

The glazing on the roof will be replaced with new, clear windows to let in more natural daylight and pillars and steelwork will be repainted to improve the overall station aesthetic.

First Great Western will also be carrying out work in their ticket office to provide 12 ticket counters, new ticket machines and entirely transform its appearance, taking inspiration from original station designer Isambard Brunel.

Stuart Kirkwood, development director at Network Rail, said: “We have listened to the views of passengers and understand we need to make these improvements whilst minimising disruption for the 60 million people who use Paddington every year. Upgrading a busy station is always a challenge but we have the expertise to ensure the station remains open for business with minimal inconvenience to passengers and station users.”

The company’s senior commercial scheme sponsor for the project, Natalie Holden, guaranteed that they are working closely with Historic England (formerly part of English Heritage) to preserve the heritage of the building, originally built in 1854.

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