Network Rail is building a bigger station for Reading with five new platforms, entrances, and a wider passenger footbridge.
The station is a key element of a £400m package of improvements to Reading’s railway, which include a viaduct to the west of the station to boost capacity and cut delays through Reading.
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.”
Work on the station is due to start in early 2011, following the completion of enabling works for the project over the Christmas 2010-11 period.
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.
Planning consent for the station scheme represents a significant step towards a green light for the entire Reading project.
Applications for the train depot and viaduct elements of the scheme will be considered by Reading Borough Council over the coming months.
Reading station revamp schedule
1 First phase of work completed over Christmas
2 Work starts to modernise station
3 New platforms and station entrances open
4 Cow Lane bridges widened
5 Viaduct to cut delays
6 Further improvements to track layout