MARLOW'S railway is set to be upgraded and electrified by 2019, the Free Press has been told.

Marlow, Bourne End and Cookham are set to reap the benefits from a £38billion extension to the upgrades of the Great Western Line.

A planned electrification scheme to speed up and modernise services has been laid out for some time but originally the Thames Valley branches were not included. Network Rail confirmed this week that they have been added to the proposal. It comes after the Government pledged further cash last year.

About £9billion will be invested in the Thames Valley upgrades alone.

Chris Denham, Network Rail spokesman, said: "We're working on the Thames Valley branches as part of a wider programme of electricfication so hopefully by the end of the next control period, which is 2019, we will have electric trains to Marlow. In terms of timescale and cost these are still being worked out."

Home Secretary Theresa May, Cookham's MP, welcomed the announcement that the village will benefit from a quicker, cleaner service.

Mrs May, whose constituency also includes Bisham, said the routes are crucial and added: "This is something that I have previously called for, and will be important in ensuring that direct services to London are maintained on the branch lines."