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Paddington station’s history

By Juliet Whitcombe

Paddington station’s history

Paddington’s first train station, located on Bishop’s Bridge Road, was opened in 1838 and provided a rail link to Maidenhead. Within three years the line was extended to Bristol to connect London with Bristol Docks and the ships to America.

As train services expanded, Paddington station was improved and updated. The basic shape of today’s mainline station - comprising a central span roof of over 100ft and two smaller side spans of 70ft and 68ft - was built in 1854.

Paddington began receiving underground trains in 1863, and was the original western terminus of the Metropolitan line, the world’s first underground railway.

In 1916, a fourth span was added to the station’s roof to provide shelter for platforms 9 - 12. Network Rail is currently restoring this section of the roof to allow daylight to enter into the station.

A lot of the station’s history is still evident today and a statue of its designer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel still watches over it, no doubt with great interest in how his creation will embrace the next big change - the integration of Crossrail.