Network Rail is planning an £850m set of improvements to the station and tracks to raise capacity at one of the country’s busiest stations.
The total work package includes building new platforms, a £100m new viaduct to carry trains over existing tracks and extensive resignalling and new track layouts.
The joint venture beat rival bidders Morgan Sindall and Laing O’Rourke to the station expansion package, which is expected to be worth £80m.
Work includes building five new platforms, a new passenger footbridge with escalators and lifts providing step-free access to all platforms.
Contractors will start work on site this summer and the first new platform, on the southern lines to Gatwick and London Waterloo, will open at the beginning of 2012.
The remaining new platforms, new entrances and footbridge will be completed in spring 2013 and station works will be completed in 2014.
Talking about Network Rail’s plans for Reading, major programme director Robbie Burns said: “Our work in Reading is not just about upgrading the station.
“We’re building a viaduct, constructing new bridges and embankments, making massive alterations to track layout, renewing signalling and building a train depot.
“This project will transform Reading’s railway and benefit the entire Great Western Main Line.
He added: “Over recent months we’ve been looking carefully at how the pieces of the puzzle fit together, and consulting our customers to make sure we minimise the impact of this work on passenger and freight trains using Reading.
“We’ve developed a plan that means we’ll finish our work in Reading in 2015, a year ahead of schedule. This means less disruption for people who live in Reading and rely on the railway.”
Network Rail’s revised programme amalgamates three separate pieces of engineering work at Easter 2013, which will see new entrances and platforms brought into use at the station.
Reading’s new train depot will be open for use at the end of 2013, and work on Cow Lane bridges will be completed in 2014.
The project will complete in 2015, following big alterations to the track layout including the construction of a big viaduct to take fast lines over slower ones.