Reading railway station is a major transport hub in Reading, England. It is on the northern edge of the town centre, near the main retail and commercial areas and the River Thames. Reading is the ninth-busiest station in the UK outside London, and the second busiest interchange station outside London, with over 3.8 million passengers changing trains at the station annually.Reading is one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail. The station is served by three train operating companies: Great Western Railway, CrossCountry and South Western Railway.HistoryThe first Reading station was opened on 30 March 1840 as the temporary western terminus of the original line of the Great Western Railway (GWR). The time taken to travel from London to Reading was reduced to one hour and five minutes, less than a quarter of the time taken by the fastest stagecoach. The line was extended to its intended terminus at Bristol in 1841. As built, Reading station was a typical Brunel-designed single-sided intermediate station, with separate up and down platforms situated to the south of the through tracks and arranged so that all up trains calling at Reading had to cross the route of all down through trains.