SLC, the rail development and delivery specialist, has played a pivotal role in assisting Great Western Railway (GWR) in fulfilling its obligations under the Railway Interoperability Regulations (RIR) for the redevelopment of Reading West station.

Over the last year, SLC Rail has successfully supported the station in obtaining Authorisation to Place Into Service (APIS) from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in less than the 20-day guidance.

APIS, mandated by the ORR, serves as a vital validation for railway stations, infrastructure, or rolling stock, affirming compliance with rigorous standards encompassing aspects such as health and safety, accessibility, environmental sustainability, and technical compatibility.

Nathan Godley, Project Manager at SLC Rail, said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in this project, ensuring that the design and construction deliverables align with the requirements of Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM) National Technical Specification Notices (NTSNs). With our extensive experience across numerous projects, we understand the criticality of compliance from an entry-into-service standpoint.

“The successful attainment of APIS in less than the normal 20-day guidance, shows the significance of collaboration, as we’ve worked closely with key partners, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders every step of the way. It’s been a rewarding journey and I’m looking forward to seeing passengers use this station soon.”

Tom Pierpoint, Business Development Portfolio Director at GWR, said: “This is an essential part of the project, and it was invaluable to have SLC’s expertise ensuring that we have everything in place and to railway standards to open this station as quickly and as safely as possible. Their contribution has been instrumental in supporting this project.”

The upgrades to Reading West station encompass a station building, housing a modern ticket office and ticket machines, complemented by enhanced signage, lighting infrastructure, and comprehensive CCTV coverage throughout the premises. The new station building is due to open on Tuesday 19 March.