The Department for Transport and Transport for London have today (27 March 2014) announced that Crossrail will be extended to Reading and Twyford.
Extending the east to west rail line means that more passengers will enjoy a direct connection to central London and beyond, without the need to change at Paddington. It will also result in shorter journeys and increased capacity.
When the line fully opens in 2019, Crossrail will serve a total of 40 stations along the entire route, with 2 trains an hour running from Reading. Two additional Great Western services from Reading to London will continue to operate as they do today.
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.
Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Underground and London Rail, said:
Extending Crossrail to Reading will provide passengers with more journey options and will create better connections and direct services between Reading, Twyford and destinations across London without the need to interchange at Paddington.
Crossrail will boost London’s rail capacity by 10% by connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Up to 24 trains an hour will run between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak times.
It is estimated that Crossrail will generate at least 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full-time jobs around the UK. Three out of 5 businesses currently winning work on the project are based outside London.