The £14.8bn cross-London Crossrail project will be extended to Reading with fast trains covering the route starting in 2019, the UK government announced on Thursday.
Once operational, the service will allow passengers travelling to London from Reading and other Thames Valley stations to reach more destinations across London without having to change at Paddington.
Starting in 2019, trains are expected to depart to Maidenhead every fifteen minutes with two of these services continuing to Reading via Twyford.
It had always been hoped the line could be extended further west from Maidenhead although until today there had been no firm decision on this.
Crossrail stretches from Berkshire in the west to as far east as Shenfield in Essex and also takes in spurs to Heathrow Airport in west London and to Abbey Wood in south east London.
In addition, the planned future Great Western franchise service pattern from Reading to London will not change. Twice hourly, semi-fast services and existing fast mainline services will continue, calling at the same stations as today.
According to Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, the Reading extension will also 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.