A NEW £2 billion funding boost has been announced to improve railway infrastructure across Hampshire.

Network Rail says the money will be used to provide "safer and more reliable" railway for the county's commuters and train passengers.

This includes strengthening and refurbishing four railway bridges across Hampshire, including one in Eastleigh.

Mainline power will also be renewed across the New Forest area, while rail bosses plan to renew tracks at six key junctions, including at Eastleigh and Shawford.

According to Network Rail, the money will be spent between 2019 and 2024.

The funding will be focused on renewing and maintaining existing infrastructure to stop it failing, giving people more reliable train journeys in the future.

Becky Lumlock, route managing director for Network Rail’s Wessex route, said: "We now have more money than ever before to invest in this route and make a real difference to people’s journeys - that’s great news for the people of Hampshire.

"With almost a quarter of billion passenger journeys a year, this part of the railway is under enormous pressure.

"The next five years are about making sure our tracks, our signals, our bridges and everything in-between, are in first-class condition and can support this growing demand.

"We know we still have much to do to improve train performance on our route and, working with South Western Railway, this funding will help us do that for the communities we serve.”

More to follow...