Along with the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (GWML) this could provide Reading with links to Central and East London as well as Essex and Kent with one train and not using the Underground. However the safeguarding now means that if the funds can be raised in the future it will be easier for Crossrail/TfL to achieve this.
The full DfT press statement is below
New Crossrail route safeguarded
The Government today safeguarded a potential Crossrail route from Maidenhead to Reading.
Whilst there is no current commitment to extend Crossrail out to Reading, safeguarding provides additional protection against future developments on the route.
Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said:
"Our current priority is to get on with the delivery of the Crossrail Project as it is currently planned, but safeguarding would provide additional protection against developments impacting on future operational requirements.
"Safeguarding will also allow the line to be electrified in the future and for Crossrail to be extended if a case can be made to do so."