Hampshire County Council and its partners are looking at reintroducing passenger services between Southampton and the Waterside area, opening up a line currently used for freight.
The move follows the completion of a Governance for Railway Investment Projects 2 ( GRIP 2 ) study which reported a strong business case for a new passenger service serving Totton, Hounsdown, Marchwood and Hythe.
The GRIP 3 study, that will begin this spring, will examine what infrastructure would be required to restore the line for passenger use, predicted passenger demand and how to fund the project.
Says Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, ‘There is no doubt that there is potential for the development of the rail network in South Hampshire and we have had some very constructive discussions with Network Rail and South West Trains on this matter.
‘Passenger services along the branch ceased in 1966 and the new service would run between Southampton Central and Hythe at hourly intervals, with a journey time of 23 minutes.’