Network Rail has awarded construction firm contract for station rebuilding and improvements and junction work

Rail operator Network Rail has appointed construction firm Bechtel to work on Crossrail and major improvements to Reading station.

The £2.3bn Crossrail scheme includes elecrtifying a route from London to Maidenhead, rebuilding several stations on the route and junction improvements.

At Reading more than £400m will be spent on building a new viaduct, doubling the number of platforms and building a passenger footbridge.

Crossrail will link Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in east London through mainline trains and tunnels under London. Construction will begin in 2010 and it will be Europe's largest civil engineering project.

Bottlenecks in Reading make it the biggest drag on rail performance on the Great Western line which serves an area from west London to Wales. The project will complete in 2015.