The western terminus of the Crossrail railway line will now be at Reading, not Maidenhead as originally planned.
Joint sponsors, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL), have instructed Crossrail Limited to extend the route to the west, bringing the service to Twyford and Reading stations.
The Reading extension will generate some cost savings from reduced infrastructure enhancements at Maidenhead and Slough, and only minor works will be required at Twyford and Reading to accommodate Crossrail services.
Crossrail will now serve a total of 40 stations along the entire route when it fully opens in 2019, running from Reading in the west to Shenfield in Essex to the east, via a new tunnel under central London. There is also a spur to Abbey Wood in southeast London
The Department for Transport said that extending Crossrail to Reading opens up a wider network of destinations. There will be two trains an hour from Reading and passengers will be able to travel into, and beyond, central London without the need to change at Paddington.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Crossrail reaching Reading is further proof of our commitment to deliver a transport network fit for the 21st century. It will improve connectivity and deliver greater choice and convenience for passengers travelling into London. It will also make better use of the already congested Great Western Main Line, freeing up capacity for further improvements including potential direct services from Reading to Heathrow as part of the Western Access Scheme. In addition, I have requested Network Rail to look at the cost benefit analysis of increasing the number of faster trains between Reading and Paddington.”
There will be no change to the planned Great Western services from Reading to London with twice hourly semi-fast services and fast mainline services continuing to operate and call at the same stations as today. Crossrail will serve Maidenhead with four trains per hour.
The current planning assumption is that new Crossrail trains will be introduced to run Crossrail services as follows: