Thousands of Basingstoke commuters could start experiencing improved journey times and less crowding on their journeys in a few years time.
Crossrail representatives and local partners met last week to highlight the benefits the new railway could bring to the area by the early 2030s.
The scheme will increase the capacity of morning peak time travel across central London to 270,000 more people daily, and could have wide-reaching impacts by easing congestion in places as far as Basingstoke.
Speaking at the event, Michèle Dix, managing director of Crossrail 2, said: “Crossrail 2 will have a dramatic effect on rail services between Hampshire and London.
“Although Crossrail 2 trains themselves will run out only as far as north Surrey, we know that it’s a struggle for many Basingstoke rail commuters with lines into Waterloo among the most congested in the country.
“The new railway is designed to relieve such pressure, it will add an estimated 11,800 train seats every weekday morning peak across trains coming in from the South West.
“Crossrail 2 is an investment for the future that we need to start taking forward now.”
At the event, members of the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) met with representatives from Crossrail to see how the plans would benefit the area and help ‘unlock’ its economic potential.
Mike D’Alton Chairman of Enterprise M3 Transport Action Group said: “Enterprise M3 LEP area is one of the fastest growing regional economies in the UK and the continuation and consolidation of this growth will be underpinned by major investments in transport infrastructure.
“Residents and businesses will benefit through improved journey times, less crowding, and extended employment opportunities.”
Running from nine stations in Surrey to three in Hertfordshire, Crossrail 2 will provide rail connections across London via twin underground tunnels.
Development of Crossrail 2 is ongoing, with construction scheduled to start in the early 2020s pending Government consent. The new line is planned to become operational in the early 2030s.
The project is estimated to deliver a £150billion boost to the UK economy.
The M3 LEP works across 14 local authorities, including Basingstoke and Deane borough council, to increase jobs and maximise the number of businesses operating across the area.