A £400m redevelopment of Reading station and the surrounding railway will start early next year after Reading Borough Council granted approval for the station element of the scheme.
Network Rail wants to build a more spacious station, with new platforms, entrances, and a wider passenger footbridge, along with other improvements to Reading’s railway which include a viaduct to the west of the station.
Tony Walker, Network Rail scheme sponsor for the Reading project, said: “The council’s decision means we can press on with our plans for Reading and get started on work to improve the station next year.
“It’s full steam ahead for the project now. We’ve already done a lot of preparatory work and we’re gearing up to complete enabling works for the scheme at Christmas this year.”
The Christmas works will see signalling control for the entire Reading area transferred to a brand new signalling centre at Didcot, meaning the current signal box at Reading can be demolished to make way for new platforms.
Network Rail engineers will also use the Christmas period to install a new bridge over Caversham Road to make space for new track and platforms at the station.
Construction work on the station is due to start in early 2011.
Applications for the train depot and viaduct elements of the scheme will be considered by Reading Borough Council over the coming months.