The decision means that Crossrail will serve a total of 40 stations when the network is fully-operational in December 2019.

Two of the four trains per hour serving Maidenhead will be extended to Reading, enabling passengers to travel to stations in central and east London without changing trains at Paddington. The DfT says the decision will also provide greater flexibility for future timetabling of services.

Crossrail services will be operated by a new fleet of Bombardier emus, which will initially enter service on the existing London Liverpool Street – Shenfield route from May 2017 prior to the opening of the first phase of Crossrail from Paddington to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in December 2018.