Reading is on the Great Western Main Line that runs from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. It is a major transport hub and is one of the busiest stations outside London.
From Reading, there are more than 12 trains per hour to London Paddington; four trains per hour to Basingstoke, Oxford; two trains per hour to Bath Spa, Birmingham New Street, Bournemouth, Bristol Temple Meads, Guildford, London Waterloo and Southampton and hourly trains to Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle and Penzance.
The station was reopened in 2014 after a major redevelopment project. The station redevelopment added five new platforms (Reading railway station now has 15 platforms), new pedestrian and cycle underpasses, a new footbridge, new shops, cafes and restaurants and a new entrance and ticket hall.
Reading station has plenty of places to eat and drink including AMT Coffee, Bagel Factory, Burger King, Costa, Delice de France, Hotel Chocolat, Pumpkin, Starbucks, Upper Crust, Subway, Lands End Pasty Company and the West Cornwall Pasty Co. There is also The Three Guineas pub, Boots the chemist, a WHSmith newsagent and a branch of M&S Simply Food.
Reading is noted as the railway station where TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lost the first draft of Seven Pillars of Wisdom when he left his briefcase at the station while changing trains. He completed the second draft from memory in three months.