A station building for one of Reading’s train stations has finally opened after a long-running nine years in the making.

Reading West Railway Station was first opened in 1906 and has since served passengers travelling to and from Reading main station, Taunton, Newbury, Basingstoke and other destinations.

There are also three trains in the morning that run directly to London Paddington.

Now, for the first time in 118 years, it has a dedicated ticket building that has been created using part of the existing Oxford Road pavement.

At the official launch on March 19, 2024, it was reflected that the project was first floated as an idea in 2015.

Despite hopes for the ticket building to open in the summer of 2022, delays meant the project could only open now.

READ MORE: When to expect new Reading West station building to be completed

The building was officially opened by councillor Tony Page (Labour, Abbey), the Mayor of Reading, in one of his last ceremonial engagements.

He said: “Reading West has for long been the Cinderella in the rail industry, a station that’s been often forgotten, neglected, has been the centre of anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and various other nefarious activities for which this stretch of the Oxford Road have been reputed for.

“It has therefore driven the work that we did with our partners in drawing up a masterplan back in November 2015 which we finalised.

“Today is an important step towards delivering parts of that masterplan.”

He added that there is still work to be done, particularly to make the station wheelchair accessible, which will require changes to the composition of the platforms.

Cllr Page also called for netting under the rail bridge to be replaced and cleaned up to prevent pigeon roosting.

Watch cllr Page's full speech below:

The station was ceremonially opened by cllr Page pressing a button to activate the ticket gates. Then, he used a ticket to pass through the gates. After a few false starts, he was able to pass through.

Guests then enjoyed a cake replica of the new building.

Reading Chronicle: The cake cutting at the Reading West station ticket office building. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting ServiceThe cake cutting at the Reading West station ticket office building. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

The station was delivered with the help of the Great Western Railway, Network Rail and the Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which was able to secure £3.1 million for the project.

Alison Webster, the chief executive officer of the LEP, said: “It’s great when a plan comes together.

“Plans that have been put in place in 2015 and 2016 are just being realised now.

“Every single station from Slough through to West Berkshire has seen some improvement, but here it is really terrific.

“This was such a difficult site to work on. We know that places like Reading West are critical to get commuters to think differently about how they get into the main employment and local commercial centres.”

READ MORE: LEP organisation which found funds for massive train station projects shifts focus

Additionally, Joanne Grew, Network Rail industry programme director said: “We hope that with this new facility open we will see new journey opportunities as well as people feel safer and warmer and able to access the facilities that this new building provides.”

The opening was attended by Abbey and Battle ward councillors past and present, including former cllr Gul Khan, Mark Keeping (Labour, Kentwood) and Liz Terry (Labour, Coley) the deputy council leader.