THE number of trains between Southampton and Portsmouth could double under plans being debated today.

Proposals drawn up by Network Rail would see a total of four trains per hour running between Portsmouth and Southampton and two trains per hour between Portsmouth and Eastleigh - double the current total on each route.

Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for traffic and transportation is set to make a decision later today.

Under the Network Rail Continuous Modular Strategy Plan platform two at Portsmouth Harbour station will be reinstated and the track returned to use.

The document also includes proposals for other destinations across Hampshire.

It says: “Just a small percentage of any rail investment secured for Solent, if used for station access improvements, would help to maximise the value and benefit of investment in service improvements.

“Frequency improvements can help city to city connectivity by providing more opportunities to travel each hour, reducing average wait times.

“The wider Solent corridor beyond the cities is a key growth area for employment and housing and development in these out-of-city areas will be key in influencing future demand and journey patterns.”

Network Rail has also unveiled plans to revitalise one of Portsmouth's Victorian railway structures.

The Landport Viaduct, which supports two platforms at Portsmouth and Southsea station on the line to the harbour, needs a week’s worth of strengthening, without trains running over it.

In addition, a separate project will see new track laid and a bridge rebuilt near Cosham.