A special Valentine’s Day event will take place at Paddington station on Wednesday, 14 February to celebrate improvements to Brunel’s iconic station, as well as the £7.5bn route modernisation that will transform journeys across the West, and provide thousands more seats to and from London Paddington.
The event, known as Love Paddington, is in its second year and celebrates the progress of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, which is enabling Great Western Railway (GWR) to introduce their biggest fleet upgrade for a generation.
As well as live music throughout the day, Love Paddington will see those at Paddington on Valentine’s Day receive discounts and giveaways from retailers including a special competition where passengers could win GWR train tickets, an overnight stay in the Hilton Hotel or gifts from Paddington Bear just by explaining what they love about London Paddington.
In the last year GWR has been able to deliver thousands more seats on new electric trains, running under electric wires for the first time between London Paddington and Didcot; as well as begin the introduction of new Intercity Express Trains (IET) on routes to South Wales, Bristol, Bath, Swindon and to the North Cotswolds. Each IET has up to 24% more seats than the High Speed Train it’s replacing.
As well as new trains, London Paddington has undergone extensive improvements including the renovation of its iconic roof and the opening of a brand new retail space boasting approximately 40 different retail and dining outlets.
Mark Langman, managing director for Network Rail’s Western Route said: “Love Paddington is all about celebrating London Paddington station and giving something back to the passengers that use the station every day.
“The station is better than ever thanks to the programme of improvements under Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan. We have enhanced the experience of using the station including the refurbished ‘lawn’ shopping area, providing the best quality environment to meet, eat, shop and travel.
“But it doesn’t end there – we have recently delivered electrification to Didcot, enabling thousands more seats into and out of London Paddington. Together with GWR we will see further passenger benefits during 2018 with an increasing number of new Intercity Express Trains operating, as well as opening of the new Paddington Crossrail low level station.
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director for GWR, said:
““The redevelopment of Paddington, and Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, marks a massive step towards delivering the capacity improvements we have promised, and the most significant series of improvements for rail passengers in a generation.
“Electric trains are now running under the wires between Didcot and London for the first time, delivering real improvements for our passengers in London and the Thames Valley and enabling us to make further improvements throughout our network, supporting the communities we serve.”
For your chance to win the Love Paddington competition, simply tell Network Rail what you love about travelling to Paddington by tweeting @NetworkRailWest with your photos and messages using #lovepaddington.
Entries close at midnight 14 February and winners will be selected on 15 February 2018.