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From the London/Essex border, where is the nearest free or inexpensive Park & Ride station with a regular direct connection to Reading?

I imagine that it would be on the far side of the Dartford Crossing, but which? This is a one off, but might become a regular commute, so, depending on the train fair, it might even be better to go nearer to Reading that London? It's a time/cost trade-off, but I don't have any data on which to base the decision.

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I don't think there is anywhere with direct trains from Essex/East London to Reading? At least not until Crossrail starts.

The closest direct train you will get is from Waterloo.

See https://traintimes.org.uk/london%20waterloo/reading?changes=0

Your best option might be Egham, just off the M25 with parking at £7.50 per day. Though at that point you are well over halfway to Reading.

Once crossrail does open then you have a lot more options from as far East as Shenfield (1hr 42). https://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/maps/route-map

As @Muzer points out, there are fast non-stop trains from Paddington to Reading. While driving to and parking at Paddington is probably a non-starter, you could take the Hammersmith & City Line from Barking to Paddington and change trains once. Hammersmith and City Line

  • Assuming at some point this year Lancaster Gate tube station will reopen (currently expected August 9th), a future one (long) change trip would take the Central Line, and do the 10 minute walk to Paddington. – origimbo Jul 31 '20 at 15:39

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