Paddington station is undergoing the most significant transformation it has seen since it was first built in the 1800s. One of London’s gateway stations, the grade one listed building will be one of the first new Crossrail central stations to open in 2018.
The station is being built directly below Departures Road and Eastbourne Terrace and will offer a superior travelling experience with smoother interchanges and improved accessibility, easing congestion and providing space for future growth in passenger numbers.
Modern and sustainable design will see the ticket halls flooded with natural light right down to where escalators meet station platforms. Building on the original Victorian vision for grand station design, dramatic public space will reconnect people to the station from street level.
A long glass canopy will cover a new multi-storey public space that will lead to the new station platforms. The glass canopy will feature large-scale public art from New York artist, Spencer Finch. Step-free access will include lifts down to platforms and a new step-free link between the Crossrail station and Bakerloo line platforms, reducing congestion.
Construction of Crossrail has been a catalyst for regeneration and will see Paddington transform to a vibrant destination with enhanced public spaces and station architecture that seamlessly blends into its surroundings.
Around the station there will be spacious pedestrian areas with more seating, bicycle parking and trees. In addition to the already improved taxi facility and new plaza on the canal-side, a 15 storey mixed-used building space with direct access into the National Rail, Circle and Hammersmith & City line stations.
Gallery - architects impression images of Paddington Station
Building on Brunel's foundations
In building Paddington Station, the Victorians achieved a fantastic sense of arrival and evoked the excitement of rail travel. Crossrail will build upon this legacy when its new station opens in 2018.
International passengers arrive at Paddington from Heathrow and the station needs to impress. To achieve this does not require huge scale or expense, but does need well-designed and proportioned spaces that both meet travellers’ needs and complement the ambitions of the area. The existing Paddington station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex served by four underground lines – the Bakerloo, Hammersmith & City, District and Circle lines. Departures Road and Eastbourne Terrace are to the south west, while the northern perimeter is bounded by the Grand Union Canal.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a legendary figure in the growth of British railways, was 29 years old when given the contract to build the Great Western line from Bristol to Paddington. Industrialists in Bristol were concerned that Liverpool would become the major port for America since a railway was already being built from Liverpool to London. The current mainline station opened in 1854. The site was first served by Underground trains in 1863, and was the original western terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway. An average of 26,500 passengers used the line every day.
The existing station is grade one listed, which means Crossrail cannot interfere with any part of the listed structure without prior permission from Historic England. The application process required to obtain permissions is lengthy and can take a number of months. The Crossrail station is intimately linked with the existing station, so advance detailed planning is necessary to avoid delays to the programme.
Paddington Integrated Project
The Paddington Integrated Project (PIP) represents a close collaboration between Crossrail, London Underground, Network Rail and Transport for London to create a truly integrated station that offers a superior passenger experience with easy interchanges.
The catalyst for the project was a requirement to move the old taxi rank on Departures Road/Eastbourne Terrace to enable the Crossrail station to be built in its place. The project was established in 2008, enabling works began in 2009 and main construction took place between 2010 and 2012.
The Paddington Integrated Project works included:
- A new Hammersmith & City line station to ease over-crowding. The new station provides space for future growth in passenger numbers, enhanced quality of access, interchange and ambience
- A new improved pedestrian entrance from the canal towpath to both Paddington mainline station and the new Hammersmith & City line station
- A new taxi facility on the eastern side of the mainline station with access to the mainline station by lifts and escalators, a walkway to the new Hammersmith & City line station and a new taxi access ramp from Bishop’s Bridge Road
- Provision for a future commercial development above the new Hammersmith & City line station and the site adjacent to the existing canal towpath
Tube upgrade plan
Paddington Hammersmith and City line station has been rebuilt to cope with increasing demand. More than 60,000 passengers currently use the Hammersmith & City station every day, with demand growing as a result of the extension of the Circle line to Hammersmith.
When Crossrail services begin in 2018, passenger numbers will increase further.
To help prepare for this demand, Transport for London delivered a number of improvements, concluding in 2013:
- A new station entrance from the Paddington Basin
- A new station concourse
- A new ticket office, ticketing machines and ticket gates (including wide aisle gates)
- Lifts to the platforms and three stairways where there was previously only one
- Extended platforms to accommodate new, longer air-conditioned trains
- Improved CCTV and Security
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