Extensive 6,500m2 train care depot built using off-site methods...

...to reduce risk and disruption in busy trackside location

More than 50,000 people use Reading station every day, and numbers are set to double by 2030. Freight business has also increased by 60 per cent, making Reading one of the busiest and most important rail hubs in the country.

An £850m redevelopment of Reading station aims to improve train speeds and reduce delays. As part of the development, five ancillary buildings were required to form part of a new £54m Reading Train Care Depot for Network Rail.

Working for main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, the Portakabin Group provided a three-storey administration building, two ancillary buildings for train maintenance and cleaning staff, a security gatehouse and an additional train care accommodation building.

“The new depot is located on a track-side site so it was a major benefit to have each building structure and envelope all in place in a matter of days and much more quickly than with a site-based construction solution. This reduced risk and improved safety – key factors when the site is located next to a live rail line. The approach allowed work to continue inside the buildings in a much safer environment.”

Ian Simmons, Project Manager, VolkerFitzpatrick

The steel-framed modules for each building were manufactured off-site at the Portakabin Group production centre in York, minimising disruption at this very busy trackside location.

The buildings were designed to meet stringent Network Rail standards and specific project requirements. The main office building features an architectural ‘butterfly wing’ roof and a rainscreen cladding system finished in white with bands of bright green to give it a distinctive appearance. The other buildings have mono-pitch roofs and rainscreen cladding in various colours.

Built with enhancements to allow for future stabling and servicing of electric trains, the new 6,500m2 depot is now fully operational, providing capacity for 147 vehicles. The old depot was demolished to make way for new freight traffic lines which pass under the main lines and enable freight trains to transit the station without impacting on passenger trains.

Building Location


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