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” railways for the county’s commuters and train passengers.

Railways around Eastleigh will benefit most from the investment, with work to include strengthening and refurbishing railway bridges and renewing mainline power.

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

Steve Brine MP. Launch of <a href=Winchester Car Club, Broadway, Winchester. Picture: Chris Moorhouse."> Steve Brine MP. Launch of Winchester Car Club, Broadway, Winchester. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.

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 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.”

As part of the investment, Network Rail will deliver track renewals at Shawford and Eastleigh, as well strengthening and refurbishing the railway bridge at Campbell Road, Eastleigh.

Councillor David Airey, cabinet member for transport at Eastleigh Borough Council, welcomed the investment, saying: “Upgrading infrastructure will help to improve reliability and time keeping, as well as increasing capacity, which is particularly required for South Hampshire.


“The priority is clearly for the main line from the coast towards London.”

A spokesperson for South Western Railway added: “We will continue to work with Network Rail on improving performance on our network, and we’re investing an additional £5m across our train fleet to further improve reliability.”

Winchester MP Steve Brine said more still needed to be done.

He said: “What we need is an ambition long-term plan that not only arrests the poor performance we’ve seen in the past year but builds a bigger railway because demand is rising and the current system just cannot cope.”