PLANS for £210m worth of new trains have moved forward which should improve journeys for tens of thousands of Hampshire commuters.

South West Trains (SWT) has announced its intention to award the contract for 30 new five-carriage trains to manufacturer Siemens and leasing company Angel Trains.

The new Desiro City trains will boost capacity on SWT routes in and out of London's Waterloo station, including it's service to Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway.

Eventually, peak-time daily passenger numbers will increase by 24,000.

The first of the new carriages will begin arriving in 2017 and will all be in service by early 2018.

Around 140 jobs will be created as a result of the order.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: ''More passengers are travelling on our railways than ever before and , to meet the demand for extra seats and services, over £38 billion will be spent on the railways during the next five years.

''This latest new train deal is proof not only of our determination to transform Britain's railways but also the industry's commitment to deliver a better journey for Britain's passengers.''