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Station master?

Letters

Peter Smith's says in his letter (NCE 29 July) that Brunel would have had a lot to say about the 'lack of foresight' by Crossrail in planning their stations - but foresight about stations does not seem to have been Brunel's forte.

His first station at Paddington very quickly proved inadequate for the traffic and had to be replaced.

He designed Reading station with only one platform which had to be used by trains travelling in either direction and he built Oxford station in a place from which the line was incapable of extension and it soon had to be relocated.

He also built the Bristol station of the Bristol and Exeter Railway as a terminus alongside the GWR station at Temple Meads but at right angles to it - apparently with no expectation that anybody would ever want to run through trains between London and the West Country.

Some foresight!

Dr Martin Barnes (F), Cornbrash House, Kirtlington, Oxfordshire OX5 3HF

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