Reading will soon be connected to central London via TfL’s new Crossrail Elizabeth Line, and it’s going to make a huge difference to commuters.
Next Sunday 15th December will see the opening of the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Reading, and a trial run of the first trains has already started.
As a way of testing the water and smoothing the transition from Great Western Railway to TfL on the new Crossrail line, the new trains started operating at the end of November, with four stopping train services per hour during peak times between the two destinations. There will be two trains an hour from Reading to Paddington in off-peak hours, which remains unchanged from the current service.
A TfL spokesperson said: “As TfL Rail prepares for the takeover of stopping services between Paddington mainline and Reading on December 15, TfL Rail trains are running on some Great Western Railway (GWR) operated stopping services.”
Improvements across the route
The new route will have a significant impact on commuters to the capital, who will be able to use pay as you go contactless payment to travel across the whole journey, rather than having to buy a separate ticket for that part of their commute. However, this facility won’t come into effect until 2 January 2020.
While fares will remain the same, children under 11 travelling with an adult and other users eligible for the Freedom Pass will travel for free on the new route.
Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail, said: “Starting TfL Rail services to Reading is another step towards opening London’s new railway, the Elizabeth line. Customers will see staff at every station, and improvements being made to stations along the route including the installation of lifts to provide step-free access, they will also be able to enjoy the convenience of pay as you go contactless payments all the way to Reading.”
Investment opportunities in Reading
Reading has become the target for increased investment as a result of the Crossrail line increasing its accessibility to London. It is already a major business destination in its own right, with a higher number of tech jobs and businesses based there than anywhere else in the country.
As a result, more young professionals are likely to be attracted to the area, with Crossrail increasing employment options for many.
In the centre of the town, the iconic department store Jackson’s is currently undergoing major renovation as it is converted into residential apartments.