Berkshire

Reading railway station's £850m revamp on track

Part of the new railway bridge under construction
Image caption The 1,000-tonne bridge will be lifted into place over Caversham Road during the New Year weekend

Final preparations are under way for the first major milestone in an £850m overhaul of Reading railway station.

Network Rail is remodelling the station by 2013 to include five more platforms and two additional entrances.

A new viaduct will also be built to the west of the station to boost capacity and cut delays.

A new 1,000-tonne railway bridge will be installed over Caversham Road during the New Year period. It will carry railway track to new platforms.

'Thunderbird 2'

Mark Hepburn, of construction engineers Bam Nuttall, said: "It's a big load, it's 45m wide and 17m in spine and weighs over 1,000 tonnes.

"It's moved by a multi-wheeled trailer that looks like something that's come out of Thunderbird 2 really, a big piece of kit."

Image caption Reading railway station is being remodelled by Network Rail in a £850m overhaul

Major signalling work has already been announced at the station over the Christmas period, meaning no trains between 27 and 30 December and a reduced service on 1 and 2 January.

Caversham Road will be closed from the evening of 30 December to the morning of 3 January while the bridge is lifted into place.

It is hoped the station and road will reopen on 4 January, the first working day of 2011.

Work to reorganise traffic flows and road layouts around Reading town centre ahead of the project began in June.

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