Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced proposals to extend Crossrail to Hertfordshire, cutting the journey time from London by up to 16 minutes.
The plans would also present an opportunity to redevelop Euston Station.
This, says Mr McLoughlin, would take pressure off the busiest station in London which will already see the addition of 11 new platforms under proposals for the HS2 high speed rail project between London and the West Midlands.
Speaking to Crossrail workers at Farringdon, Mr McLoughlin said: “We’re going to examine, right away, how we can run extra services direct into the city and through to Canary Wharf from key stations like Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Harrow and Watford, without the frustrating need to change at Euston.
“I have made clear to my department that any changes must not affect the timetable or planned service pattern for the existing Crossrail scheme.
“Final decisions would be subject to a wide range of considerations, including affordability,” he said.
Crossrail is scheduled to be fully operational by 2019.
Yolanda Rugg, chief executive officer at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said including Hertfordshire in the scheme would be “a catalyst to drive economic growth” in the area.
“It will provide vital high-speed transport connectivity from London to the new Watford Health Campus, and to the financial and creative services sectors,” she said.
“It will most definitely support long-term regeneration across Hertfordshire.”
Journey times if Crossrail extended:
• Tring to Liverpool Street – 57 minutes (a reduction of 13 minutes)
• Watford Junction to Canary Wharf – 43 minutes (a reduction of 12 minutes)
• Tring to Bond Street – 55 minutes – (a reduction of 16 minutes)
• Watford Junction to Liverpool Street – 37 minutes (a reduction of 13 minutes)
Source: Department for Transport via BBC